Police detained a 65-year-old man Tuesday after he was caught driving under the influence, while rolling a joint on a traffic ticket.
While patrolling the Ayalon Highway that cuts through Tel Aviv, officers noticed a driver “fiddling with something on his lap,” police said Wednesday.
Pulling up next to the moving car, a motorcycle-mounted officer saw that the driver was rolling a cigarette with “suspicious materials that appeared to be narcotics.”
“The paper on which he was rolling was in fact a traffic ticket from a few months ago,” the statement added.
The driver, who police said hailed from the center of the country, was detained for questioning. A urine sample confirmed that he had been driving under the influence of marijuana, police said. They also confiscated a small amount of marijuana that he had on him.
The suspect’s driving license was invalidated for 60 days, or until he faces trial.
“In addition to being a serious offense, driving under the influence of drugs seriously endangers the drivers and other road users,” the police statement said.
Though it is currently illegal, the Public Security Ministry on Tuesday published draft legislation that would decriminalize the recreational use of marijuana. Under the proposal backed by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, first-time offenders would be charged a NIS 1,000 ($265) fine but would not have a criminal case filed them. That sum would be doubled on the second offense.
Those caught for a third time could still avoid prosecution if they accept a number of possible measures, including loss of their gun or driving license and participation in a rehabilitation program. Only those caught smoking in public on a fourth occasion would be subject to criminal charges.
The plan would also see minors under the age of 18 criminally prosecuted if they refused a rehabilitation program.
The draft legislation will be submitted to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on February 18.