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Israel Decriminalizes Cannabis

A new bill set to be passed in Israel this week will decriminalize the use of cannabis for citizens throughout the country and sets new regulations and fines for individuals above the age of 18 caught by police in the possession of marijuana.

If passed the new regulations would require first time offenders to pay a fine of NIS 1,000, the second offense would requiring a citizen to pay NIS 2,000, and then the third offense would require a fine a stricter fine or do community service instead. This would allow Israeli citizens to avoid jail time due to possession.

Though Israel may be the hub for scientific cannabis research, it has much more of a supply of the dried cannabis plant than a demand for it. Earlier this year, Israel was scheduled to become one of the world leaders in medicinal cannabis exports, which would have made their government $4 billion dollars annually.

The new plan for cannabis exports in Israel were halted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after a phone call from current United States President Donald Trump. During the discussion Trump made it clear that that Israeli government exporting cannabis made him uneasy.

Despite this, Israel continues to be known as one of the global leaders in the research and development of cannabinoid based medicines, with 27% of the country’s  population currently admitting to smoking marijuana.

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