The Zehut party is making waves, notable ones, as election draws near in Israel. Now that surveys show the party may gain as many as four Knesset seats, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top political figures are making their opinions on marijuana legalization known.
Netanyahu noted he is “looking into the matter” and will “provide an answer” in relation to the move in Israel. Already, Netanyahu has remarked that medical use of marijuana is at a worldwide high and farmers in Israel are permitted to grow the drug, as there is currently a high demand with relatively low supply available.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon notes he is aware of trends elsewhere in the world. While recognizing the trend to legalize, he advocates for observation of countries that have already legalized marijuana. This will allow Israel to recognize benefits and possible detriments to the move, particularly those specific to their country.
Kahlon’s view is that, provided the observation has positive results, Israel will be in a better position to “roll with” legalization.
Gesher chairwoman Orli Levi-Abekasis has already given her opinion, as the party is known for supporting decriminalization and advocating for regulation of marijuana use for the country as a whole. Meanwhile, the party notes it is working to ensure those in need of marijuana, particularly those who have served in the military or exhausted all other options for treatment, can use the drug without fear of penalty. This applies, according to Levi-Abekasis, even if the individual does not have a medical prescription for marijuana use.
The Arab majority party Hadash also has spoken in favour of decriminalization, while Ta’al is the polar opposite in their vocal opposition to the idea. Meanwhile, as the two parties are a joint entity, a joint platform is far from firmly established.