The Shmooze

Pot Not Kosher for Passover — Even on 4/20

By Anne Cohen

It’s that time of the year again — Passover and 4/20, the unofficial marijuana celebration day. On the same day.

The celebration of all things green poses a particular problem for the chosen people. Namely, is smoking pot kosher for Passover?

Sorry to disappoint, but it seems not.

In 2007, Israel’s Green Leaf Party, which supports the legalization of marijuana, declared that cannabis is among the substances Jews are forbidden to consume during Passover.

“You shouldn’t smoke marijuana on the holiday, and if you have it in your house you should get rid of it,” Michelle Levine, a spokeswoman for the party, said at the time.

Why? Because hemp seeds are considered to be kitniyot.

While biblical law prohibits eating leavened foods, rabbis have since extended the rules to apply to foods like beans, corn and rice. Hemp seeds, found in marijuana, falls under that category. So voila, no Mary-Jane for you — if you’re Ashkenazi that is.

Sephardic Jews have traditionally been allowed to eat kitniyot during Passover, so when it comes to 4/20, they’re in the clear.

If you’re really desperate though, there have been reports in the past of kosher for Passover pot cookies. Cannabliss, an Israeli company that supplies medical marijuana to Hadassah Hospital, makes them with matzo meal or potato flour.

As the ancients said: Put that in your pipe and smoke it. But don’t. Still not kosher.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: pot, passover, marijuana, legalization, kosher, israel, green leaf, 4/20

High Times With Mason Tvert

By Anne Cohen

Thinkstock

For the first time ever, more Americans are in favor of the legalization of marijuana than not, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

You know that trip you’ve been planning to Colorado for, ahem, recreational purposes? Well, you’ve got one main man to thank for it.

Activist Mason Tvert is no new convert to the cause. Tvert’s marijuana consciousness emerged while in college, when he was, as he sees it, mysteriously subpoenaed in an investigation on marijuana use, as someone suspected of using the drug.

After studying political science and journalism at the University of Richmond, he moved to Colorado, where he cofounded SAFER (Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation), an organization that seeks to educate the public about the benefits of marijuana over alcohol, in 2005. Before becoming the communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, the largest organization in the country working exclusively to end marijuana prohibition, Tvert co-directed the successful Colorado campaign to legalize marijuana-use by adults.

The Forward called up this nice Jewish boy from Scottsdale, Arizona, to ask him what he thinks about the new poll, pot, and those who still oppose it.

Anne Cohen: So, why are you in favor of the legalization of marijuana?

Mason Tvert: Marijuana prohibition has been an abysmal failure, just as alcohol prohibition was a failed policy, and it’s time for a more sensible approach to marijuana policy. Every objective study on marijuana has concluded that it is far less harmful than alcohol. It’s just irrational to punish adults who are making a choice to use the less harmful substance.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: poll, marijuana, legalization, Pew, Mason Tvert




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