Knesset nixes vote on bill to decriminalize cannabis

United Arab List vetoes bill to decriminalize smoking cannabis, forcing coalition to nix vote.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Smoking cannabis (illustrative)
Smoking cannabis (illustrative)
iStock

A bill to decriminalize the use of cannabis will not be brought for a vote Wednesday, after the coalition leaders failed to garner a majority supporting it.

The bill, put forth by New Hope's MK Sharren Haskel, was brought down mainly by opposition from the United Arab List (Ra'am) party.

The bill would ban smoking cannabis only in public areas, similar to the laws regarding smoking cigarettes. In all other places, police officers would be banned from conducting a body search, detaining a suspect, or arresting someone smoking grass.

At the same time, a process would begin under which anyone who has a recent criminal record for possession of cannabis would be able to ask the Justice Minister to erase his record.

Yamina MK Abir Kara said he fully supports the law, but noted that it may be worthwhile to wait until the Knesset resumes following its summer break before attempting to garner the majority necessary to pass it.



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