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New police directive: Cannabis growing at home is a minor offense

On the porch it's okay: a new directive from the Police Prosecution Department makes the crime of growing cannabis a minor offense - provided that the number of seedlings is low and that no equipment is used

First publication: After years of growing cannabis as a "dangerous drug tumor" or at least a "non-self-possession", the police are now in the process of regulating the issue and establishing that a small number of cannabis plants can be considered 'self-use' alone.

This assertion is clarified by the Police Prosecution Department, in a new document that we reveal for the first time and entitled "The policy of prosecuting the offense of growing dangerous drugs"In which it is explained that domestic cannabis cultivation should be considered in small quantities and with minimal means only as self-use - as opposed to the growth of a large number of plants and the use of dedicated growth equipment.

* updating (2019): The police decided to cancel the directive (Details here).

Potted terrace - self-use

A person who grows a cannabis plant or two on a balcony, garden, or home - without dedicated equipment - will be considered a person who has committed a cannabis possession offense for personal use only, and not as previously charged with possession of drugs that are not for personal use and / or offense.

"In the offense set out in paragraph 6 of the Ordinance," a person shall not grow dangerous drug, manufacture it, produce it, prepare it, prepare it, or exhaust it from other matter ... "), which has a permanent penalty of 20 years imprisonment, Who has raised a dangerous drug for his use, and someone who has raised a dangerous drug in a significant amount for a commercial purpose, "police explain.

"In recent years, we have been aware of a negligible increase in the number of suspects involved in committing a crime of growing a dangerous cannabis drug, without sophisticated means of cultivation, in planters on the porch of their home or in their yard, which until then constituted normative citizens."

"On the other hand, there has been a significant increase in the number of suspected cannabis-type dangerous drug traffickers, with early planning, the purchase of special tools for cultivation (fertilizers, chemicals, drips, special lamps, etc.).

In order to determine whether this is an increase for personal use or not, the police prosecution states that the items that will be examined in each case will determine whether to attribute an offense of a dangerous drug to the following:

  • The number of seedlings - the greater the number of seedlings.
  • The pre-implementation planning - if planning is carried out for the purpose of committing the offense.
  • The extent of the means - the more measures are used.
  • External circumstances - the higher the suspect grows, the greater his self-consumption.
  • A relevant criminal record - will be used as a given, although not one of great weight.
  • Intelligence material - will be used as an auxiliary data, the weight of which is not great.
  • Weight - will be used as a helpful indicator. The greater the weight of the drug.

The police case also provided a clear example: Where a suspect raised a single seedling of cannabis weighing 4 kg without the above-mentioned criteria being met, the tendency would be to attribute the offense of possession of a drug to self-use. On the other hand, where 19 cultivates Cannabis seedlings - even if their weight is only 400 grams - the tendency will be to attribute an offense to a dangerous drug.

The new directive briefly means that a person who is caught growing a cannabis plant or two on the balcony or on the roof of his house, under the sunlight and without intention to trade, will be deemed to have held cannabis for personal use only, with minor penalties.

On the other hand, a person caught with a large amount of cannabis plants, grown with fertilizers under special bulbs and drips, would be considered to have raised a dangerous drug, an offense punishable by severe punishments of up to 20.

"Beautiful guidance"

"This is a directive that finally makes an order and recognizes those who choose to grow cannabis plant for its own consumption, no matter what its weight, as a consumer and as opposed to the past, Miriam Brainin With whom we discussed the subject. "Hopefully the guidance will be implemented in the field, too," she added.

Miriam Brainin
Attorney Miriam Brainin

"So far, when a person with a higher than self-defined amount of cannabis is found, the burden of proof is that the use falls on the defendant," she added. "This guideline actually states that self-use can also be involved in plantation offenses when there is no dispute that this is an increase in self-consumption."

"There is an understanding that people who do not want to mix with drug dealers prefer to grow a plant in their home. These are normative people and this is a very nice directive, "she concluded.

In recent years, the legal system has tended to make it easier to deal with cannabis growth, which, in small quantities, may also be considered "self-use."

This policy was first demonstrated in a legal precedent from 2015, in the case of an Israeli resident who raised Cannabis saplings. The judge was convinced that the purpose of the increase was purely personal And released the defendant without conviction.

This policy has continued in the two years that have passed since more judges release Cannabis Towers with relatively minor punishments, while last month a new record was recorded as an Israeli who raised Cannabis plants in his home He was also released without conviction.

The Israel Police said in response that "this is a biased and partial publication of the professional guidance of the Police Prosecution Division. The purpose of the internal guideline is to distinguish between the cultivation of narcotic drugs and the use of drugs for commercial purposes. We emphasize that there is no change in the policy of handling drug offenses in the Israel Police and in the severity attributed to this offense by virtue of the law. Import, trade, growth, and use of dangerous drugs are criminal acts that violate Israeli law, and the Israel Police will act to enforce the law accordingly. "

Full document:

Cannabis fines

(Starting with 1 in April 2019)

Based on a figure revealed by Minister Erdan. Police refuse to reveal official figureDetails here)

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