Israel’s deputy health minister, Member of Knesset Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism), on Monday announced new measures to make it easier for Israelis to obtain medical marijuana by allowing pharmacies to dispense prescriptions for it to patients.
“Today pharmacies give out all kind of drugs, including narcotics such as morphine, and it’s done in a perfectly orderly fashion. So marijuana will be handled the same way,” Litzman told the Knesset Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, the Times of Israel reported.
“It will be prescribed and monitored by the same standards as other medications,” he added.
Currently, tens of thousands of Israelis who have been prescribed medical marijuana can only receive it through marijuana dispensaries, which struggle to meet popular demand and to overcome bureaucratic hurdles. Litzman hopes the new process will ease access.
Many medical professionals and scientists regularly visit Israel to learn about the country’s innovations in medical marijuana research and development. Efforts to decriminalize marijuana are also underway in the Jewish state. A recently introduced Knesset bill would make the cannabis plant legal for private use and allow users over the age 21 to possess small amounts of marijuana.