Judaism and Marijuana
This chapter approaches the issue of marijuana use from a Jewish perspective. The Torah demands that Jews become “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” The Jewish tradition uses wine to sanctify holidays and marriages; it does not use marijuana for those purposes. Still, Judaism allows Jews to ingest many things that are not intrinsically holy as part of the effort to fulfill the responsibility to maintain a healthy body, mind and soul, and furthermore, as part of enjoying God's bounty, even when not directly related to matters of health. It further demands that one obey God's commandments, take responsibility for one's actions, and work to create a better world. Whether using marijuana recreationally fits into that Jewish description of the nature and purpose of life depends on what its effects turn out to be. If it decreases pain in dying patients, then one not only may, but must, work to make it legally available to them. Thus, in sum, marijuana in and of itself is not inherently bad or good; it must be judged in terms of its effects in creating a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
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