Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Is cannabis Kosher?

In the lead-up to Passover celebrations, observant Jews are expected to ritually clean their households and give away offending foodstuffs. On their front page, the Jerusalem Post today highlights the current confusion over whether keeping hemp products in the house violates any religious traditions of kitnyot, practiced by most devout Ashkenazies. (Marijuana and hashish are clearly classified as illegal by Israeli police, although enforcement of this law can be patchy.)

Now, the Aleh Yorok (Green Leaf) Party spokesperson, Michelle Levine, wonders whether a seasonal prohibition of marijuana implies that during the rest of the year, cannabis is kosher. The party, activists for legalizing hashish, is awaiting a Rabbinical consensus on this quandary before its leaders issue a joint statement.

Weed-whiffers in Israel, after all, are not exactly enjoying high times these days. The Green Leaf Party did not fare well in the Knesset elections. Some Israeli potheads blame the problems on that nasty Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and his minions: after the summer war destroyed prime croplands with rockets, mortars and tank treads and further blocked smuggling routes for any Lebanese Blonde which was harvested, prices surged 800 per cent. (Already, smokers were concerned that their indulgence might constitute high treason, since some traffickers' profits allegdly went to Hizbollah's coffers. Or should that be coughers?)
At any rate, tossing out such high-priced spliffs in order to keep kosher strikes some smokers as unfair. Others argue that it's just a token sacrifice.

Late addendum: Keeping kitnyot was effectively quashed when legume-eating was ruled kosher, according to Ynet news. This may give a whole new slant to the high holy days.


Grand Exalted Druid said...

It better be, or I have some friends who are going to be in BIG trouble with their god.

What if you get a Rabbi to roll it for you??

Anonymous said...

saw some more commentary today on ynetnews

which quotes Levine of the Green Leaf Party: ''You shouldn't smoke marijuana on the holiday, and if you have it in your house you should get rid of it.''

But not everyone needs to abstain during Passover. Sephardic Jews, who come from countries in the Middle East and North Africa, neer accepted Rabbinical injunctions against hemp.... except that it remains illegal, despite the Green Leaf party's best efforts.