FAQ: Cannabis Questions: Is Cannabis Legal in Israel?

FAQ: Cannabis Questions: Is Cannabis Legal in Israel?

This is a question we get a lot – in a many different versions – so, we’ll do our best to be broad in our response. The simple answer is this: Yes, cannabis is legal for licensed, medical marijuana patients. Israel instituted her medical marijuana program in the early 1990’s initially to treat cancer patients and other patients with pain related issues. Currently there are approximately 25,000 licensed patients in this country (making Israel one of the highest rates of users per capita, worldwide). But make no mistake – when it comes to recreational use, cannabis is still 100% illegal. So, what are the indications for a medical license? So glad you asked.. Here’s the deal: As the system stands now, the procedure to procure a license for medical cannabis is the following: A patient  is eligible for medical cannabis if they suffer from one of the following disorders or diseases:

  • Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis (and has tried and exhausted at least two conventional treatments for more than 3 months  and is a candidate for surgery)
  • Chronic Pain (and have been treated in a pain clinic for over a year),
  • Neurological Disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s Syndrome, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis (and has exhausted conventional treatment).
  • Suffers from PTSD with at least a 30% disability (according to national insurance , has exhausted conventional medical and psychological treatments AND has suffered for at least 3 years)  
  • Has certain types of cancer, or is undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Infectious disease (HIV/AIDS)

Visit the Ministry of Health’s page for more guidelines If these conditions are present, THEN the patient can request that their specialist apply for a license on their behalf. The treating doctor must then submit the request for license to one of currently 36 doctors “deputized” by the Ministry of Health to approve (or deny) that request. #LongWaitingList   Once approved, the licensed patient  will be referred to one of eight government sanctioned cannabis grow-operations. There is policy change on the table that will disrupt the current model of medical cannabis distribution but those changes are not likely to effect the legal status of cannabis in Israel. Helpful? Have more to add? Share your answer in the comments below. And by all means, if you have a question, chances are we have an answer… Ask away!  

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