IDF to ease up on pot-smoking soldiers

New regulations would end court-martials and criminal prosecution of soldiers found to be using marijuana.

David Rosenberg,

Marijuana in Israel
Marijuana in Israel
Abir Sultan/Flash 90

After years of combating drug use among soldiers, the IDF appears to be ending its own war on drugs, amending regulations concerning the use of marijuana by off-duty draftees.

Up until now, soldiers found to be in possession of any controlled substance, including light drugs such as marijuana, have been subject to immediate court-martialing along with criminal prosecution, even when the crime took place while the soldier was off base and off duty.

Current regulations also made no distinction in the quantity of drugs possessed, requiring court-martials and criminal charges even for small amounts of marijuana kept for personal use.

But in 2017, the Haaretz daily has learned, the IDF will ease back on prosecutions against some soldiers found to be using marijuana.

While the drug will still be prohibited to all IDF service members, the automatic court martial of drafted non-officers caught with marijuana will be replaced with non-criminal, internal disciplinary actions, made at the discretion of commanding officers.

The change would only impact soldiers using drugs outside of army facilities and while off duty.

The criminal charges normally applied to users of the substance, which is still prohibited in Israel for recreational use, will be effectively removed and replaced with a probationary period during which the soldier would have to submit to monthly drug testing.




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