Smoking marijuana for medical reasons during passover is kosher, a leading rabbi in Tel Aviv has ruled.
Belarusian rabbi Chaim Kanievsky has said that marijuana may be used by Jews from all backgrounds on Passover only if it is used for medical purposes. Taking drugs, like marijuana, to escape the word or to just tune out for a bit is still strictly forbidden.
The 88-year-old rabbi, who lives in Bnei Brak, an Israeli city east of Tel Aviv, can be seen with another prominent rabbi in a video uploaded to YouTube by pro-legalization group Cannabis Israel in which they are presented with cannabis leaves and partake in the leaves being blessed.
Typically marijuana would fall be labeled a kitniyot, a hebrew word meaning legumes. During Passover kitniyot is a category of foods that may not be consumed by Jews following the traditional Askenazi laws and customs. Foods likes rice, beans, peas, corn, mustard and lentils are among the foods that are considered Kitniyot.
Marijuana is also illegal for recreational use under Israeli law, but is prescribed for patients with certain conditions, including patients undergoing chemotherapy and those experiencing chronic pain from Parkinson’s disease.