In a surprising turn of event and after 27 years of operation – The Israeli government has decided to shut down its “Anti Drugs Authority” (The somewhat parallel of USA’s NIDA and of the DEA in some minor aspects) – Its leading organization for the “war against drugs ” and fire everyone who worked there according to the Israeli “Cannabis magazine” who published the official documents released by the government which announced the decision.
After many years of scaremongering, encouraging harsher sentences for drugs convicts in courts and the persecution of cannabis and medical cannabis users it was decided that the authority will be shut down following a high profile bribery case and endless waste of money who showed no positive results over time in any of its defined goals over the past 30 years such as reducing drug use, abuse, dealing, harm reduction or drug related violence – mostly by providing assistance to law enforcement and publishing misleading and not once dangerous campaigns about the dangers of drugs – for example am outrages TV commercial in the 90’s claiming that if you tried weed, you might as well try heroin since they are “drugs” – and drugs are the same.
The new minister of public security, Gilad Erdan uncovered the full document explaining the steps that will be taken to complete the surprising move until April 1th 2016 (and its not an April fools joke!)
The document which is titled “The cancellation of The Anti Drugs Authority” specifies the new legislation which will put an end to the “useless” organization, among other points it mentions that the ADA will be shut down completely and all its responsibilities will be transferred to the ministry of public security. With the closure, all workers will be let go – from the chairman and CEO (who was not Dismissed yet), his Replacement Deputy and PR spokesman all the way down to the last employee.
“In order to coordinate and improve the war on violence and drug abuse its suggested to to cancel the current law and close the authority which in turn will transfer its responsibilities to ministry of public security” – The document says. “Following that, all employees will be let go and the scheduled date to complete the process is set to April 1th 2016 to enable enough time for re organization”.
The official decision to close the Authority will be held at August 19 2015 when the in charge ministers committee will all vote in favor of the decision. The decision is expected to save over 20 million ILS each year in tax payers money (Over 5 Million USD).
Since 20 Million ILS is not considered to be a significant portion in the ministry of public security overall budget – many wondered, including in the ADA itself if this was the main reason for the closure and not the high profile corruption investigation which was published recently and involved the Authority CEO, Yair Geller, Among others from the “Israeli Beytiynu Party” – According to Cannabis Magazine who is considered to be a main source for Israeli drug related news and harm reduction.
The document goes on and specify the required law changes and the upcoming related updates of the “Anti-Drug Abuse Act” – And it seems that this way or another, the authority who was notorious for publishing lies and promoting failed policy in combating drug abuse will be put to rest and the wasted money will be directed at better causes, according to the minister decision.
This comes only weeks after the Israeli police chief Yohanan danino said, along with other public figures and members of the Knesset that the time has come to reconsider the current policies related to the criminalization of cannabis users.
This step will hopefully set a milestone in the right direction of ending the war on drugs or at least the decriminalization of cannabis and better spending of public funds, we would love to see other countries doing the same and stop the endless waste of money by similar organization who helps no one.
Thanks to Anonymous for the translation and reddit user FFDP101 for bringing this to our attention!
Another source – Haaretz news site in the English language.