Labor Party leader and opposition head Shelly Yachimovich said Wednesday that she had smoked marijuana on numerous occasions, most recently 16 years ago.
In an interview with the Knesset Channel on Wednesday, Yachimovich said that, unlike other politicians, she did not attempt to hide decisions she had made earlier in life.
“I am at peace with my past,” she said.
Yachimovich went on to directly criticize Finance Minister Yair Lapid who, despite indications to the contrary, insisted he had never touched pot or other recreational drugs.
“Yair Lapid — each time he discovers some forgotten detail from his past,” Yachimovich said.
The Labor head said the last time she smoked was “about 16 years ago.”
Yachimovich would have been in her late thirties and mothering two children at the time of her last drug use. She was a popular Israel Radio broadcaster at the time.
The opposition leader said that despite her experiences, she did not support the legalization of cannabis for recreational use.
“This is a very complex issue,” Yachimovich said. “Basically, right now, under the circumstances, no — though I am of course supportive of removing restrictions on cannabis treatment for critically ill patients.”
Prior to the elections in January this year, The Green Leaf party, a liberal party that calls for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, claimed it was in possession of pictures of 18 politicians who oppose the legalization of drugs smoking pot.
In early October, a study by the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies showed that if marijuana were legalized and taxed at a similar rate to cigarettes, it would yield about NIS 950 million (268 million USD) in taxes, while at the same time, it could save the state the NIS 700 million (198 million USD) it spends on enforcement every year.
The study also found that 275,000 Israelis adults used cannabis over the past year, and 75 percent of the people surveyed said they believed marijuana had a legitimate medical use. However, only 26% favored its legalization versus 64% who opposed it.
Spencer Ho contributed to this report.