Shalom Life | April 11, 2015

Rabbi: Weed is Technically Kosher for Passover

That is, if you're already a pot enthusiast, live in a state where it's legal, and don't consume it as a brownie

By: Daniel Koren

Published: April 6th, 2015 in Health » World

The Torah, and Jewish religion in general, is often open to interpretation, with different rabbis and scholars offering different rulings, ideas, and suggestions for how Jews should lead their lives.

On the subject of weed, many rabbis have long proclaimed that the delectable green buds are indeed kosher, though again, each one has a differing stance depending on if it's for medicinal or recreational purposes.

According to New York-based rabbi Ben Greenberg, marijuana can be consumed without guilt, even during the holiday of Passover, though again, there are several 'ifs' and nuances that one must consider. As those religious Jews have thrown out all of their beer, whiskey, and other fine spirits, they can at least take solace in the fact that they might be able to get a little high before, or after, their matzo and brisket lunch.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Greenberg, who's formerly held the position as head of a Denver synagogue as marijuana was becoming legal, explains the different "layers" of prohibition regarding cannabis.

“There are really two different layers of prohibitions during Passover,” Greenberg stated. “One of them is specific to the Ashkenazic Jewish community, and the other one is the biblical prohibition, which is that you can’t have any leaven—no grains. The additional layer of prohibition is that European Jews, several hundred years ago, added that you can’t have anything that might look like a grain. So they don’t eat beans or rice on Passover.”

Greenberg adds that marijuana does not constitute as member of the grain family, but for one to consume it during Passover, they obviously wouldn't be able to in your traditional edible forms of brownie or other baked good, as those foods often involve leavening.

And while, “After you’re done drinking four cups of wine at the Seder, I don’t know if you need anything extra,” Greenberg notes that it isn't entirely forbidden either.

One simply must be aware that smoking isn't good for you, he explained, and that the "general consensus" is "if you haven't started, you shouldn't start."

Meaning, if you're an avid blazer during the year, you can continue taking bowls during Passover without breaking any laws. If you're looking for a new narcotic this holiday season, unfortunately for you, Manischewitz will have to do.

Mind you, Greenberg does mention that this reasoning only pertains if you're in a state where it's legal.

Rats.

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