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MK New Hope threatens to enter the coalition if the Cannabis Committee is not formed

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New Hope MK Sharine Haskell has reportedly threatened to halt voting with the coalition until the so-called Knesset Cannabis Committee is formed, jeopardizing the 61-seat majority in the 120-seat parliament.

According to several Hebrew media reports Wednesday, Haskell accuses the left-wing Meretz party of obstructing the establishment of the committee — which would discuss medical marijuana, legalization and other cannabis-related issues — in violation of the coalition deal.

Maariv said Health Ministry officials recently convinced Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, the leader of the Meretz party, that there was no need to form the committee.

“If they violate the coalition agreements, I will break them,” Haskell was quoted by Channel 12 News as saying, citing the agreement in support of the commission’s creation and legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

The network said the Haskell threat was also backed by unspecified high-ranking members of the network New Hope, a right-wing party led by Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar.

in June, Haskell’s bill to decriminalize recreational marijuana use fails to liquidate plenary vote Because of the opposition of deputies in the Islamic “List” party.

New Hope MK Sharen Haskell talks with Blue and White MK Eitan Ginsburg, who runs the Knesset plenum, on July 28, 2021 (Noam Moskowitz/Knesset Spokesperson’s Office)

Haskell hoped her bill would pass a quick vote, as many of the dissenting MKs were not present at the time. But the opposition MKs quickly returned to the plenum to vote against the law, dropping it 55-52.

List MKs Walid Taha and Mazen Ghanem voted against the law along with the opposition parties. The leader of the list, Mansour Abbas, was not present.

The previous vote on the bill had been postponed due to opposition from the Business List, after Abbas told Haskell that he needed more time to examine how to legalize recreational marijuana use among its supporters in the Arab community.

By threatening to vote against the government, Haskell appears to have adopted the “list” policy of using the coalition’s one-seat majority to gain influence.

Recreational drug use is currently illegal, although the Ministry of Public Security partially decriminalized it in 2017, imposing fines and treatment for primary offenders in lieu of criminal proceedings.

After the original Haskell bill fell, a new version of legislation was drafted that would substantially reform the medical cannabis industry in Israel and expand its accessibility, while not decriminalizing recreational use.

MK Sharyn Haskell of New Hope (center) during a vote on a law proposing reforms to regulate medical marijuana, at the Knesset, Jerusalem, October 13, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

this is the law He passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset last monthPowered by ram.

Under the terms of the law, those who have obtained a license from the Ministry of Health will be legally allowed to grow, distribute, and possess cannabis for medicinal purposes. The new regulations are aimed at overcoming the chronic shortage of medical cannabis available to those on prescription, due to stringent regulations on producers.

Earlier this month, the Knesset passed Israel’s 2021-22 budget, removing the last hurdle of complex legislation and capping a major success for Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s unlikely ruling coalition of eight ideologically disparate parties.

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