Israel’s army is to relax its disciplinary action against soldiers accused of smoking cannabis while on leave, a general overseeing the reform said Wednesday.
Offending soldiers will no longer be systematically court-martialed nor receive prison sentences of up to two months, former military advocate general Maj. Gen. (res) Danny Efroni told Army Radio.
But they must agree to undergo regular tests to show they are abstaining from smoking cannabis.
The relaxation does not apply to soldiers who use the drug while on duty.
“We are offering soldiers the chance to continue their service normally and not be imprisoned and hindered by a criminal record in civilian life,” Efroni said.
“We haven’t cancelled the investigations,” he explained. “We are talking about light drug offenses and one-time or a handful of uses in civilian circumstances. But the investigation will be carried out and if we have all the material and evidence to file an indictment we will do it.”
Cannabis use is illegal in Israel except for medical purposes.
Last year 128 Israeli soldiers were prosecuted for use of narcotics.
Almost half of the investigations conducted by military police involve drug use.