“And Hashem said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation: seed-bearing plants, fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so.” Genesis 1:11 (The Israel Bible™)
According to Sarah Zadok, Content Marketing Manager for CannaTech and iCAN Israel Cannabis, the use of medical cannabis among those who need it is not only permitted under Jewish law. It is also a mitzvah (commandment). “God is cool with cannabis,” she told Breaking Israel News.
At CannaTech, iCAN’s annual medical cannabis convention held in Tel Aviv on March 19-20, she explained, “Jews are huge fans of people living well and living healthy. Halacha l’ma’seh (the Jewish law regarding actions) says that if cannabis is needed for health, even if it is illegal, it is not only permitted but demanded.”
Even more, Zadok said, the Jewish tradition of “pikuach nefesh” (saving a life) says that preservation of human life overrides nearly any other religious consideration. Thus, smoking medical cannabis is even permitted during Shabbat and holidays if this is the most effective way to ensure one’s health.
According to Saul Kaye, founder of iCAN, the use of cannabis dates back to the Bible and is documented in the Old Testament. He claimed that cannabis is referred to as “kaneh-bosm” in the books of Exodus, the Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. “It is mentioned in the Bible, in Gamara (Talmud), and was used to create smoke in the temple,” he told Breaking Israel News.