Partial decriminalization of public cannabis use takes effect Sunday night

Legalization activists warn substituting fines for criminal indictments may lead to stricter enforcement by police
The Times of Israel (Israel)
Sunday, March 31, 2019

Marijuana possession will be partially decriminalized at midnight Sunday night when a plan two years in the making goes into effect, replacing criminal prosecution for personal marijuana use in public with fines and a less stringent enforcement regime. A version of the plan was first put forward in early 2017 by the government’s Anti-Drug Authority, and was approved by cabinet ministers in March of that year. It is based on the so-called Portugal Model, which treats marijuana use as a public health issue akin to cigarette smoking rather than a criminal problem. The current policy of arrest for criminal prosecution will change at midnight to a three-strikes policy. (See also: The highs and lows of Amos Silver, Telegrass cannabis kingpin nabbed in Ukraine)