Cannabis plant
Cannabis plantFlash90

Some 11,000 Israelis are currently being treated with medical marijuana – enough to catch the attention of the government and Knesset. On Monday, the Knesset Health Committee decided to set up a subcommittee that will investigate the matter and set criteria for who is eligible to receive medical marijuana, and who is not.

Currently, the decision on who is eligible is made by a staff of doctors licensed by the Health Ministry to decide. There are few specific criteria, with each case assessed individually. The new subcommittee will decide on those criteria. Until then, those currently receiving treatment will continue to do so. A special exceptions committee will consider application for new patients until the criteria are set down. By the end of the year, the Committee said, an additional 11 doctors will be licensed to decide.

Among the Knesset members in favor of expanding the program is Moshe Feiglin (Likud-Beyteinu), who said that he knows of a number of cases firsthand in which medical marijuana has helped relieve pain and assisted patients on the road to recovery. MK Miki Rosenthal (Labor) said that he had been receiving similar treatments for an extended medical condition, and that the treatment had helped a great deal.

Health Minister Yael German (Yesh Atid) said that she wanted to ensure that medical marijuana was distributed to those who needed it. “On one hand, we will make sure the law is observed properly, and on the other, we will ensure that those who need treatment receive it,” she said.