Cannabis and the Israeli military

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Cannabis use is prohibited in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The IDF conducts random and non-random drug testing on members.[1] In December, 2016, penalties for use by off-duty soldiers were relaxed; use would no longer automatically result in a court-martial.[2]

Since 2014, IDF members in reserve status are authorized to use medical cannabis.[3] Some soldiers have received prescriptions for cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with "the authorization and support of the Health Ministry and the Ministry of Defense".[4]


  1. ^ Neumark & Schwartz 2009, p. 154.
  2. ^ "IDF to ease up on pot-smoking soldiers", The Times of Israel, 21 December 2016
  3. ^ Gavriel Fiske (22 September 2014), "IDF reservists can use medical pot: Policy only affects a few hundred reserve soldiers and does not yet apply to regular soldiers or careerists", The Times of Israel
  4. ^ Ariela Bankier (July 8, 2011), "Should We Be Treating PTSD With THC?", Haaretz, A year and a half ago, Dr. Yehuda Baruch – the chair of the Health Ministry's advisory board for medical cannabis – recognized the effectiveness of the substance for PTSD sufferers. Within a year, 142 requests by such patients for treatment were approved. Dozens of soldiers who suffer from PTSD as a result of their army service were, and continue to be, treated with medical cannabis, with the authorization and support of the Health Ministry and the Ministry of Defense.