Marijuana. Picture: THINKSTOCK
Marijuana. Picture: THINKSTOCK

Jerusalem — Israeli cabinet ministers endorsed a draft bill on Sunday to legalise exports of cannabis for approved medical use, says Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s office.

Adoption by the ministerial committee on legislation, which meets outside the full cabinet, means that the draft will now move forward as a government bill.

No date was set for a first reading.

Shaked’s office said a scheduled debate on decriminalising marijuana use in favour of fines and treatment was put back until next Sunday.

Although recreational use of cannabis is illegal in the Jewish state, its therapeutic use has for 10 years been permitted and encouraged.

In 2015, doctors prescribed the herb to about 25,000 patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress and degenerative diseases. 

The purpose is not to cure them, but to alleviate their symptoms.

In January, the agriculture ministry said it planned to invest 8-million shekels ($2m) in medical cannabis research projects.

In January last year, US tobacco giant Philip Morris ploughed $20m into Israeli company Syqe, which produces precision inhalers for medical cannabis.

Last month, Israeli public security minister Gilad Erdan announced his support for decriminalising recreational use.

He said he had adopted the conclusions of a commission created to investigate the issue and which recommended the move.

Shaked has reportedly indicated she will support it.

AFP

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