Marijuana has found itself in the middle of a legalizing debate almost everywhere around the world. While most of the youth has been a fan of weed, cabinets which are made up of people who are not so cool with it have ensured it remains illegal. Now, it’s found itself a fan in the Israel cabinet and seems to have brought together otherwise competing sides.
The Cabinet decriminalized recreational usage of marijuana in their most recent meeting and politicians from everywhere have hailed the move as a brilliant one. While they have always had a long-standing medical cannabis program, this is the first move that will protect those caught smoking weed in public from being branded as criminals. First-time offenders will get away with a fine of $250 and no criminal charges will be framed against them. Second-time offenders will pay something around $500. If caught a third time however, the person might be put into rehab and get their driver’s license suspended. A fourth time offender might call themselves some prison time or at least prosecution.
The right-wing and the left-wing became one when it came to making sure this law gets passed. Their right-wing Justice Minister said that it is not a very smart thing to turn a blind eye to the worldwide change in cannabis usage and that people should not be judged on a legal basis for this choice of theirs. The Netherlands, Mexico, Czech Republic, Costa Rica and Portugal have decriminalized marijuana already and Israel has now joined their league.
Headline: Israel decriminalizes marijuana.
Reddit: Finally, public stoning returns to the Holy Land.
Never change Reddit, never change.
— Vignesh (@_vgnsh) March 6, 2017
Of course the youth is happy that they will now be able to smoke their joint in public now without worrying about being charged with a criminal offence, but they are not the only ones elated at this. There is also hope that the new policy encourages entrepreneurship and investment in Israel’s upcoming cannabis industry. Israel now has an approximate 25,000 users of cannabis and the industry is estimated to be one worth hundreds of million dollars.
Imagine if that’s what this industry is worth in a small country like Israel, what could this legalization do for economies of bigger countries. Unfathomable, isnt it? Either way, kudos to Israel for this move and here’s hoping other countries follow Israel’s lead.