medical marijauna
Bags of medical marijuana. Photo by Limor Edrey
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Patients who use marijuana for medical purposes must wait six hours after smoking the drug to drive a car, the Health Ministry is set to announce soon.

Up to now, the issue of driving and medical marijuana use had not been clarified formally, and this lacunae caused several police-related incidents, including the investigation in November 2010 of scriptwriter Ran Sarig, who uses marijuana for medical purposes, after he was seen on a television program driving with a marijuana cigarette in his mouth.

The new regulation will completely prohibit drivers of public or commercial vehicles from smoking the drug for medicinal purposes.

In recent months, the use of medical marijuana has risen in Israel, according to Health Ministry figures.

Up to now, some 4,000 permits have been given for marijuana use for medical purposes. The mini1stry believes that after final regulations are ironed out for the use of medicinal marijuana, some 40,000 patients in Israel will use the narcotic.

Authorization for marijuana use covers the holding of 200 grams of the drug at any one time.

The drug is grown and supplied for medical purposes by an authorized list of persons.