In Israel, one of the leading countries in marijuana research, a push to decriminalize the drug is picking up steam, and the usual suspect are not leading it. Instead, political hawks and skullcap-wearing businessmen have taken on a cause that was once the domain of the peace camp.
“It is an issue of citizens’ rights,” said Sharren Haskel, who at 32 is the youngest Knesset member in the Likud party. Haskel is proposing a bill to downgrade marijuana possession and use from a criminal offense to an administrative offense. Under her bill, anyone caught with the herb in private would be subject to a 300 shekel fine ($81), while carrying and using in public would be subject to a 1,500 shekel fine ($405).
Haskel is not pushing for full legalization — yet. She says that once Israel decriminalizes the herb, lawmakers will be able to assess whether full legalization will be a