Outgoing Insp. Gen. Yohanan Danino notes that number of medical marijuana permits has jumped from 400 to 20,000 in four years • “If we really want to change the law and decriminalize use, or make some drugs legal, let’s do it properly,” Danino says.
“What will eventually happen here is that anyone with money will be able to get a permit [for medical marijuana], and anyone who doesn’t have money will be trying to get [cannabis] on the streets. Things are happening in the world, so we can’t stick our heads in the sand. We need to deal with this issue,” Israel Police Chief Insp. Gen. Yohanan Danino told Israel Hayom on Tuesday. Danino addressed the country’s policy on cannabis in a speech to the members of the Beersheba and Negev Trade Bureau.
According to Danino, four years ago some 400 Israelis had secured medical marijuana permits, “but in no time, there are 20,000 permits today.
“Throughout the world, this has been a method of making [cannabis] legal. In California you can walk around in plenty of places and see signs offering a fake permit for medical marijuana for $50. We in Israel don’t want that. Because if we really want to change the law and decriminalize [cannabis] use, or make some drugs legal, let’s do it properly.”
Danino said that he had decided to establish a professional committee that would be charged with conducting a thorough investigation into the cannabis policies of other western nations and their implementation, as well as looking into the ramifications of making medical marijuana use legal in Israel.
“The main idea is for the team to make decisions and submit recommendations on all the issues related to the matter,” the police chief explained.
“Just as I’m about to leave the job, I’ve become a hero for the proponents of legalization. I’m not there. I always said that our national policy needs validation, but my concern is that we’ll start pulling an ‘Isra-bluff.’ … That’s not acceptable to me,” Danino said.
MK Yinon Magal (Habayit Hayehudi) said on Tuesday that he had met with Danino, and the latter had informed him of the steps he was taking to evaluate the possibility of decriminalizing marijuana.
Incoming Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) discussed the matter in an interview to Channel 2 News on Tuesday and said: “The government determines the policy, and the police should do everything [possible] to enforce the law.”