Israeli patients using medical cannabis will be able to drive three hours after consumption under a new amendment the Health Ministry introduced this week. The regulation will take effect in a month.
For years, patients have complained of restricted movement since they were not permitted to drive. The new law will allow patients to medicate without fear of arrest as long as they are not impaired.
Previously, the Ministry of Health stated that “driving under the influence of drugs is an offense regardless of the impact on driving. The very presence of the remains of the substances in the blood is a violation of the law. ”
But when asked why the use of other prescription drugs was not examined, such as Ritalin, a ministry representative ruled “the use of Ritalin … not only does not impair driving fitness but improves the fitness to drive, so it is not right to compare cannabis and Ritalin.”
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Ben Lavi, a medical marijuana patient, was not satisfied with that answer. “Today there is confusion about the regulations of the Ministry of Health in the context of driving by patients in cannabis,” said Lavi. “In the application form for the drug, the doctor is required to explain to the patient that he is absolutely forbidden to drive. According to the Ministry of Health, even if you took cannabis yesterday or last week, you will not be able to drive.
“The regulations of the Ministry of Health were enacted in order to deal with people who consumed cannabis illegally. But we who get the drug with a license from the Ministry of Health cannot apply this logic to us, “he continued.
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The Ministry of Health said in response that “because cannabis is defined as a dangerous drug under the Drugs Ordinance and included in the ban. One of the definitions of drunken driving is driving when the driver uses a dangerous drug or has the product of decomposition of a drug. The prohibition is not specific to cannabis, but to any substance defined as a dangerous drug.
“However, the Ministry of Health is now preparing a proposal to amend the regulations, which will make it easier for users of medical cannabis, while ensuring the safety of the other users of the road,” the report said.