(CNN) Israel’s Cabinet decriminalized the recreational use of cannabis, or marijuana, at its weekly meeting on Sunday in a move hailed by politicians from across the spectrum.
Under the new policy, first-time offenders caught using marijuana in public will be subject to a fine of approximately $250, but will not face criminal charges. The money will be used for drug rehabilitation and education. A second offense will be subject to a fine of approximately $500, while a third offense may require rehabilitation, education and a suspended driver’s license. A fourth offense will be subject to prosecution and a possible prison term.
“Whether one supports use of cannabis or is opposed, it is wrong to judge cannabis users per criminal law and its derivatives,” right-wing Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said. “The State of Israel cannot turn a blind eye in light of changes worldwide regarding cannabis consumption and effect.”