By / September 10, 2019

Israel changes its law concerning marijuana

Israel currently has laws on cannabis, and police will arrest anyone caught with cannabis. Cannabis activists believe that instead of a criminal offense, officers should only impose fines. Furthermore, they feel that the police should not deal with those who consume cannabis at home.

Israel’s change to their marijuana laws will not apply to soldiers, minors or previous convicts. Those who use it in public places will be at risk of a fine. They will have to pay a $280 fine if the police catch them with cannabis.

Medical uses for marijuana

For years, debates on the legalization of marijuana took place in Israel. Its medical use is now already legal. More than 20,000 people have a prescription for it, which is one of the highest rates, per capita, in the world. However, the situation may turn out to be more complicated.

The law comes into effect just before the election and may help the extreme right-wing party Zehut, whose leader, Moshe Feiglin, saw an increase in polls.

Israelis are the largest cannabis consumers in the world

According to research, Israelis are among the largest cannabis consumers in the world. Almost 30% between the ages of 18 and 65 admit that they used it in the last year. It is a political force that politicians have to take into account. Furthermore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the recognition of recent studies.

Marijuana Joint
Almost 30% between the ages of 18 and 65 admit that they used it in the last year. (Source)

Is marijuana kosher?

The additional context is the question that now arises: is it kosher? Or even more reasonable: is it kosher for Pesach? Is it kosher to use for entertainment? Is it kosher to smoke?

Marijuana, like apples or spinach, is considered a plant if grown in Israel, to be consumable by the religious under Jewish law. Marijuana growers would have to adhere to the custom of shnat shmita (meaning, allowing the land to rest every seventh year). For American-grown pot, shmita does not apply, hence hechsher (kosher approval) is not necessary. Speaking with Haaretz, Vireo CEO Ari Hoffnung explained that in contrast. To say, Israel, New York law bans recreational use of marijuana, so the company’s medical cannabis is not sold in leaf form.

Until a few years ago, some rabbis thought that marijuana was kosher in the Pesach region, in Sephardic communities. However, it is found to be not kosher for the Ashkenazis. A few years ago, Rabbi Chaim Kaniewski, head of the ultra-orthodox rabbinate, declared that cannabis is kosher in Pesach without exception. Both, inhaled and consumed orally. And, if something is kosher in Pesach, it is kosher every other day.

(Featured Image by Adam Jang)

First published in zagner, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

Although we made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translations, some parts may be incorrect. assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translations provided on this website. Any person or entity relying on translated content does so at their own risk. is not responsible for losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated information. If you wish to report an error or inaccuracy in the translation, we encourage you to contact us.

Comments are closed for this post.