If medical marijuana arguably is the puff that comforts, ailing Jewish New Yorkers with prescriptions for the drug now may indulge without worrying about succumbing to “pot culture,” the world’s first marketer of Orthodox Union kosher-certified weed is telling potential customers.
Pot purveyor Ari Hoffnung recently introduced the certified weed at his Queens dispensary, saying the certification “sends an important message to New Yorkers of all faiths and backgrounds that using medical cannabis to alleviate pain and suffering does not in any way represent an embrace of ‘pot culture.'”
Othodox Jews, reported the on-line magazine, A Journey through NYC Religions, traditionally have been wary of the drug’s recreational use, which could lead to bad judgment and behavior at odds with Jewish values.
Rabbi Menachen Genack, CEO of the Othodox Union Kosher Division, though, told the magazine that reducing suffering with doctor-prescribed marijuana is “a mitsvah, an imperative, a command…”
Added Hoffnung, “Patients should never feel guilty or ashamed for using a product recommended by their physicians.”
While the Orthodox Union admits marijuana inherently is kosher, it notes that the drug could be adulterated with during processing.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved the use of medical marijuana in his state in 2014. As of earlier this year, 339 doctors have registered to prescribe the drug and more than 550 patients have been given prescriptions.
The use of marijuana for any purpose remains illegal in Texas.