Friday, June 5, 2015

Military defense bar supports change in IDF drug policy

Haaretz is reporting that military defense lawyers support a change in Israel Defence Forces policy on the prosecution of some drug offenses. Excerpt:
Military defence attorneys on Tuesday voiced support for a proposed change in the Israel Defence Forces’ policy on prosecuting drug use, and offered their own twist by suggesting that minor offenses such as smoking marijuana while on leave should be handled by the soldier’s commanding officer rather than the military courts. 
On Monday, Haaretz reported that military prosecutors are reevaluating the IDF’s policy of prosecuting soldiers in every instance of the use or possession of illegal drugs. Prosecutors believe minor offenses, such as the one-time use of “soft” drugs on leave, should not be prosecuted automatically. 
In response to the Haaretz report, several military figures said they doubted such a change was iminent. Even if the Military Advocate General’s Corps were to meet its goal of submitting a proposal by the end of the year, they said, the plan would still have to be approved up the chain of command, which was not a given. In fact, some defence officials were shocked that MAG was even considering a change in policy. 
Consequently, members of the Military Defense, part of the MAG Corps, proposed a compromise on Tuesday: Soldiers would not be charged for one-time drug use while on leave, but would be subject to disciplinary action by their commanders. That [would] enable the IDF to continue sending a strong message against any and all drug use while sparing offenders a criminal record that could hurt their future.
This is clearly a moving target . . . but it is moving. 

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