Monday, June 1, 2015

IDF to ease up on marijuana?

Maj Gen Danny Efroni, IDF
Military Advocate General
Haaretz regularly covers Israeli military justice issues. The latest is this story about a possible easing up on prosecution of IDF soldiers found using marijuana. Excerpt:
Army policies regarding consumption of light drugs are being re-evaluated, with an eye toward softening them, by military prosecutors. Particular attention is being given to light drugs consumed off base. Haaretz has learned that the possibility of softening army attitudes towards soldiers who are caught using light drugs on a one-time basis in civilian settings is being considered. Prevailing opinion is that such cases should no longer be automatically and indiscriminately transferred to military courts for prosecution. 
Other procedures are being examined that would allow soldiers caught using drugs to undergo rehabilitation and return to serve in their units, based on the nature of their service. 
So far the IDF has treated soldiers found in possession of drugs harshly, even in cases of one-time use of drugs such as marijuana while on leave. According to military rules, any soldier caught using or possessing drugs, even on leave and only once, will be prosecuted and, if convicted, given a criminal record. Only after three and a half years can the soldier request a pardon from the country’s president to expunge his criminal record. This policy is in stark contrast to that pursued by police and civilian prosecutors, who deal lightly with first-time civilian users of soft drugs.

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