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Overview – How cannabis laws in Israel steadily improved over time

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Israel cannabis

When it comes to cannabis, both recreational and medical, the last place you’d expect acceptance is the Middle East. That’s not an unfair generalization; decades of war, fundamentalism and traditional mindsets certainly pushed the needle backwards. However, as it turns out, cannabis does have a notable bastion of support in the non-Arab Middle East. Specifically, we need to examine the complex, very recent decriminalization of cannabis in the country of Israel.

That may sound shocking, but within the past decade the nation’s pro-cannabis movement really scooped up several victories. Up until 2019, both medical and recreational cannabis were illegal. Now, the country’s ruling legal body, the Knesset, is poised to completely decriminalize the substance soon. A recent poll showed that Israelis make up the third largest consumers of recreational cannabis in the world. So how exactly did this happen with such a short span of time?

Changing attitudes of the public and lawmakers resulted in more lax perspectives on cannabis

Before 2017, most polls showed mixed responses to recreational cannabis usage. This data showed younger demographics favoring the drug’s legalization because of newer, more progressive outlooks. The pro-cannabis movement simply resulted, up until then, in peaceful activism. This year, one group even went as far as to parachute down free weed in a public park. The stunt garnered much publicity worldwide, with the group taking responsibility vowing to continue their work. Meanwhile, a well-known pro-cannabis political party, the Green Leaf Party, lobbied for total legalization of marijauna.

By 2018, views towards cannabis shifted into more cautious perspectives. Polls showed increasing numbers of adults across older demographics expressing ‘uncertainty’ or ‘approval with limitations’ over previous years. Furthermore, several prominent economists successfully pointed out that global demands for cannabis could make for lucrative export potential. Eventually, upon legalization of medicinal cannabis, several international companies moved their centers to Israel. Furthermore, agricultural specialists since the shift began to notice that Israel’s climate and soil provide a fertile setup for large-scale cannabis crops. Lastly, the Israeli military, highly influential in national politics, expressed its approval of the drug, which it used to treat PTSD in its soldiers.

The exact legal status of cannabis in Israel is complicated, but shows potential to improve with time

Up until 2017, cannabis use for recreational purposes was considered illegal. However, few convictions occurred and the consumption of recreational cannabis generally overlooked. However, support from high-profile politicians like Netanyahu’s government resulted in plans to decriminalize the drug. In Israel, all bills proposed by the ruling government need approval by the Knesset to take effect, similar to the Supreme Court in other nations. The resulting pro-cannabis law came into effect on April 1, 2019, whereby possession of up to 15 grams was tolerable. Furthermore, in cases of public usage, the first two “strikes” would receive no prosecution but subsequent strikes possible fines or incarceration. The law is not perfect, but certainly fares better than those of more intolerant contemporaries like in the United States.

The Knesset responded to public demands accordingly. As of now, medicinal usage is completely legal, with many pharmaceutical brands operating in the nation. Recreational cannabis, meanwhile, is decriminalized. In June 25, 2020, the Knesset began work on a new, more lax law on cannabis law. When successfully passed in the upcoming months, it will legally allow up to 50 grams of cannabis in possession. Until then, pro-cannabis parties and groups continue to advocate the legalization of regulated cannabis.

For more on cannabis laws worldwide, stay tuned!

 

 

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Cannabis

Is Marijuana Consumption Increasing Your Risk Of Schizophrenia

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Marijuana effects on brain

Schizophrenia is a mental condition common in more than 20 million people of all ages, and recent findings suggest marijuana has an association with its progression. Scientists have been researching and conducting multiple investigations on marijuana products. They also experiment to find the influence of pot on mental and physical health. 

 

According to Denmark research, in the previous twenty-five years, the portion of schizophrenia cases associated with problematic use of pot has increased immensely. The study suggests that in 1995 the percentage of people that develop the mental condition in association with pot use disorder was 2 percent. 

 

This percentage increased to 4 percent in 2000. And the figure continued to increase to 8 percent in 2010. The value is rising since then as more people with marijuana use disorder are developing schizophrenia. The study published in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry elaborates the possible risk of developing mental health conditions upon cannabis use.

 

What Does The Denmark Study suggest About Cannabis Use Disorder And Schizophrenia? 

 

Carsten Hjorthoj is an associate professor at the Copenhagen Research Center for Mental Health. Carsten is also the author of the Denmark study. According to the author, it is vital to create awareness in individuals that marijuana use has consequences. Moreover, it is not entirely harmless. 

 

Hjorthoj wrote via an email that people regard cannabis as a harmless substance, unfortunately. But there is evidence indicating otherwise. Multiple research studies suggest the use of cannabis or its abuse decreases cognitive functioning.

ALSO READ: Charles Koch Supports Federal Cannabis Legalization Bill

According to Carsten Hjorthoj, they found links linking marijuana use disorders, poor cognitive functioning, schizophrenia, and other substance use disorders. 

 

The study suggests that the risk of developing schizophrenia heightens in people who are heavy drug users or cannabis users. Adductors or people experiencing cannabis use disorders are at a higher risk of developing mental disorders and psychological conditions. 

 

According to some researchers, cannabis usage may be a component cause that interacts with other risk factors resulting in the formation of mental abnormalities. The combination of interactions and risk factors may lead to the development of schizophrenia or other similar conditions. 

 

Is There A Need For More Investigation on Marijuana Effects on Schizophrenia?

 

There is a need for more replicated and similar research investigations. However, according to Carsten Hjorthoj, they are confident that these investigations will yield similar results. Moreover, further studies will help in designing firm conclusions and gather more evidence. 

 

The author of the recent study is confident that researchers will find proves to indicate that marijuana use disorder has increased the occurrence of schizophrenia. Studies may also suggest that increasing potency of cannabis consumption has an association with the occurrence of mental health conditions

 

In 19 states of the United States and Canada, it is legal to use cannabis for recreational purposes. Although in some areas, it is allowable to consume weed products for medical purposes as the plant products can treat some health conditions. 

 

In Denmark, cannabis use and pot use disorders are increasing alarmingly, as per the study findings. Denmark has not permitted to use of cannabis products for adult use, but it is applicable for medicinal usage. It is essential to conduct more research to find more about pot and its usage for the safety of people and the future. 

 

Excessive consumption of marijuana can become problematic as the body develops tolerance and consumer begin to use it in large amounts. Long exposure of the body to heavy doses of cannabis leads to negative consequences. 

 

Negative consequences include neglecting responsibilities or duties, spending too much time finding more pot, developing schizophrenia and other diseases. The diagnosis of schizophrenia is difficult as it overlaps with multiple other pathological conditions. 

 

It is also difficult to find whether marijuana use disorder is the only cause in triggering the disease or a combination of risk factors leads to the worsening condition. Thus, to drive a verdict, it is need of the hour to investigate more.

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Charles Koch Supports Federal Cannabis Legalization Bill

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Charles Koch is known for his interest and investment in political causes and is actively funding efforts to end federal cannabis prohibition. Individuals from various fields are interested in the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana products on the federal level.

 

Federally legalizing pot for multiple purposes will solve a lot of problems. It will also make it convenient for business individuals to conduct cannabis involving activities. Organizations, celebrities, and politicians have come forward in favor of marijuana bill alteration and make its use legal for the public. 

ALSO READ: Recycling Of Tonnes Of Cannabis Containers

 

What Charles Koch Has To Say About Cannabis?

 

Charles Koch has a versatile personality, and some people like him, others not. He is a titan of industry, a dark money political bogeyman, or the Marcus Aurelius of the liberation movement. 

 

He has also shown interest in cannabis relating legislation and regulation policy. Moreover, soon he may become known as the billionaire who convinced Republicans and Democratic to legalize and decriminalize cannabis on the federal level. 

 

Charles Koch is an 85-year-old individual who is the CEO of the Koch Industries and is not a pothead. He has a fortune of about $45 billion. He consumed marijuana for the first time accidentally in the 1980s in British Columbia. Koch also knows multiple friends, doctors, lawyers, and individuals from different professions that have used cannabis products. 

 

He is not a heavy consumer of marijuana products. However, he is willing to invest $25 million to fulfill his long-held belief that marijuana shall become legal nationwide. This investment will help to work towards criminal justice reforms and legalization efforts. 

 

According to Charles Koch, using or not consuming cannabis products shall be the decision of the individual. Every person shall have the freedom to take marijuana products for medical or recreational purposes.

 

While he was addressing from his office in Koch Industries in Wichita, Kansas, he mentioned that marijuana prohibition is counterproductive. Prohibiting individuals from involving in cannabis activities ruins the lives of people. 

ALSO READ: Cannabis Products Association With Perceived Risks And Availability

From a societal point of view, prohibiting some and allowing others to do pot businesses creates conflict in society. People in such environments experience resentment, anger, and hatred resulting in an anti-progressive community. 

 

Why Is Legalization Of Marijuana Essential?

 

According to Charles Koch, prohibition never made sense to him, as it is damaging to society. Limiting and banning pot involving actions acts as a hurdle in economic progress. Thus, in April, his political advocacy group Americans For Prosperity joined hands with other organizations. Their collaboration aimed to form the Cannabis Freedom Alliance.

 

The member of this alliance has already begun lobbying Congress to aid in lifting marijuana prohibition nationwide. According to Koch, the ban on marijuana is a destructive public policy and addition to America’s mass-incarnation problem. 

 

Seventy percent of Americans understand and agree with Charles Koch’s perspective regarding the marijuana ban federally. Eighteen states have already approved cannabis legalization and decriminalization bill. Moreover, they are working day and night to develop plans to implement the bill. So that the public can take advantage of this opportunity to establish new businesses. 

 

Thirty-seven states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, and 18 states allow recreational use of pot. According to an estimate, the cannabis industry is likely to generate more than $100 billion in annual sales by 2030. 

 

Charles Koch raises the question that alcohol is more addictive than marijuana, so why is it allowed, and the pot is under prohibition. He also believes that prohibition creates more problems for the country with jail and increasing prison population. The prison population has risen to 2 million. 

According to Koch, cannabis criminalization generates a negative effect on individuals that are in this system and the overall society. Restrictions limit the growth and progress of society, and block out thousands of individuals. Thus, for the success and progress as a nation, it is essential to legalize cannabis federally. 

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Recycling Of Tonnes Of Cannabis Containers

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Cannabis Recycling

Cannabis products formulations in solid, liquid, and smoke-able forms are available in the market for medical and recreational use. Marijuana products are kept under storage conditions set out by the manufacturer. 

 

Cannabis products come in containers of variable sizes and shapes. The material used to prepare containers depends upon the manufacturer’s choice and demand for the stability of marijuana products. 

ALSO READ: Cannabis Products Association With Perceived Risks And Availability

 

Recycling of containers is occurring for decades to reuse items or process used items into new ones. Doing so reduces pollution and helps to use one material multiple times. 

 

Returning And Recycling Of Cannabis Containers To SDQC

 

In less than 12 months, about 21 tonnes of empty plastic containers were sent to recycle to the SQDC. SQDC is the company that does the recycling under the name Societe Quebecoise du cannabis. It is a government-owned company. 

 

The company began its recycling package or recovery program in August 2020. Since August, a lot of plastic containers have gone through recovery programs, precisely 2291143 containers.

 

The use of cannabis products has hugely increased in the market. The number of marijuana containers purchased by consumers is likely to be much more than the number of containers send to SQDC to recycle. There is only a deposit on SQDC beverages included in the RECYCQUEBEC consignment system. 

 

However, there is no deposit on the SQDC containers in the system. Quebecers who do return pot containers do so not for money as they do not get money. They do so to keep containers away from trash.

 

According to the SDQC, the benefit of returning empty containers is that others materials cannot contaminate cannabis containers. Moreover, doing so ensures that these packaging materials do not end up in the blue boxes. Collecting these empty plastic packaging allows sending a uniform material to businesses that reuse it easily after quick processing.

 

What Happens To Marijuana Containers After Recycling

 

The Societe Quebecoise du cannabis signed a partnership with TerraCycle. TerraCycle is a U.S.-based recycling business company. The SQDC sends collected cannabis containers to TerraCycle and other such companies that are in agreement to recycle them. 

 

TerraCycle recycling business company focuses on using the used items to form urban furniture such as park benches, flower boxes, etc. According to some individuals, TerraCycle recycles bags that could have added to pollution or result in a landfill otherwise.

 

According to the Canadian press, it is uncertain what happens to those containers. It is also unclear how many of such packagings go into and out of the company. No one knows the exact number of plastic packaging required to produce urban furniture. Furthermore, there is little knowledge about other formulations that use this recyclable material. So far, there is no way to find it as the TerraCycle recycling business company does not respond to emails or phone calls as per the Canadian press. 

ALSO READ: Changes In Cannabis Proposed Ordinance By Santa Fe County Planning Commission

 

The SQDC, in a Facebook post on a page, announces that they will continue to work to improve the environment. They are working with a team of experts to develop an efficient action plan for cannabis containers and packaging recycling that is eco-friendlier. They are looking forward to going further with their environmental efforts. 

Environmentally Unsustainable?

Some people are criticizing SDQC for its products that are considered over-packaged or are environmentally unsustainable. Individuals complain that they have to wait in line to return the cannabis containers, and it would be much better if SQDC places outdoor bins in front of SQDC branches. Some individuals, while returning multiple marijuana containers, feel embarrassed. 

 

SQDC replied to these complaints and said that they are aware of the critical remarks. However, they cannot do much about it as they are to abide by the law. Placing outdoor bins cannot ensure control over the material. Outdoor recycling bins can increase the risk of accidental cannabis consumption in children and youth.  

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