Holy Land High: Israel Gives Green Light to Decriminalize Marijuana Use

Justin Tang/Canadian Press via AP

(REUTERS) — The Israeli government voted on Sunday in favor of decriminalizing recreational marijuana use, joining some U.S. states and European countries who have adopted a similar approach.

“On the one hand we are opening ourselves up to the future. On the other hand, we understand the dangers and will try to balance the two,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet in broadcast remarks.

According to the new policy, which must still be ratified by parliament, people caught smoking marijuana would be fined rather than arrested and prosecuted. Criminal procedures would be launched only against those caught repeatedly with the drug. Selling and growing marijuana would remain criminal offences in Israel.

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