Israel Justice minister mulls decriminalizing cannabis

Justice minister suggests fines will replace criminal proceedings, while local report says ministers will vote Sunday on draft bill

The Justice Ministry is exploring the possibility of Israel decriminalizing the use of soft drugs such as cannabis, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said Wednesday.

Shaked told Army Radio said that under potential guidelines, those caught using soft drugs would have to pay a fine, but it would no longer be considered a criminal act.

The rationale behind the potential policy, Shaked said, is that the use of soft drugs is too widespread to be considered criminal, but by issuing fines, it remains as an act that is not permitted by the government.When the interviewer asked Shaked whether this could be the first step in legalizing soft drugs, the minister stressed that “we are talking about decriminalization, not legalization.”

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked attends</body></html>
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