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Oct 30, 2013

Proposed Law: Legalize usage of marijuana

The quest to legalize marijuana continue (and I support it). While efforts have so far been focused on easing the process of procuring medical marijuana, MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) has now proposed a bill that would legalize marijuana for non-medical use as well, with limitations.

Zandberg's proposal is that having and using small amounts of marijuana would not be a crime. The law would define different levels for usage, distribution and sale, with different levels of punishment for each.

Zadnberg says her proposal will bring the law closer to the actual reality - The use of marijuana, around the world and in Israel, is recognizing that using marijuana is normal and does not cause damage. Recently a number of MKs have admitted to smoking marijuana, and according to surveys it is part of the normal life of many people. Statistics she quotes say that at least 275,000 Israeli adults have used marijuana within the last year.

Zandberg also says that Israel spends about 690 million NIS per yearin attempts to enforce the law prohibiting marijuana. Despite that large expense, it seems most criminal cases opened as a result have been charging people with the use or possession of marijuana and only a small minority with the crime of dealing. Zandberg wants the law changed to fit more wit the current reality.
(source: Ynet)

I would compare Zandberg's logic to the halachic logic by which something is prohibited because it is not the normal way of doing things. Once it becomes normal, the prohibition falls off. So, for a while people are breaking the law, but at a certain point the tipping point is hit and it is no longer considered prohibited, or against the custom. A good example might be the prohibition of a man to wear womens clothing (and vice versa). A man might wear a ring, and that would be (according to some) transgressing the prohibition. After enough men wear the ring despite transgression the prohibition, it is no longer prohibited, as it becomes no longer considered womens clothing.

That is Zandberg's logic, in part. First of all, the enforcement is unrealistic and not in tune with the priorities - enforcing against small users rather than the dealers. But more so, the current reality says that so many people are using it, it is no longer realistic to consider it prohibited.

The only question I have about it is, and I might only have the question because the details are not specified in the article, she wants to make it legal for people to use, but it will still be illegal for people to deal - so how will people get it to be able to use it?

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