Friday, April 6, 2012

Is Marijuana Kosher for Passover?

In the spirit of the Passover Holiday, I couldn't resist commenting on this. High Times, which since 1974 has been spreading the gospel of legalizing pot, has run an article asking the obvious question, can a person get high on Passover and still be religious?

This may not be as absurd as it seems, as the question on what is kosher for Passover, and what isn't, is taken very seriously in some circles, and can even lead to familial conflict. For example, when I was a kid, rice was verboten as it is for all Ashkenazi Jews. This is NOT because rice is a leavened product. Indeed the Talmud clearly states that rice should be eaten at Seder to commemorate sacrifices at the temple. But a few hundred years ago European rabbi's decided that rice COULD be contaminated with wheat, and this should not be eaten during Passover. This prohibition was expanded to include other grains and legumes. The overall effect on the Ashkenazi digestive system is best left not discussed.

Sephardi Jews though never adopted this extreme position, and as such their seders contain rice and a variety of foods I could only dream about. So I was totally shocked 30 years ago to find out that my wife's family eats rice on passover! Not that my wife is Sephardi, but her family had years ago adopted the customs of one of the uncles by marriage. It didn't take long until I also became a convert.

Which then leads us to the question of marijuana. Now under no condition should this be construe as a call for illegal activity (for those unfortunante places where marijuana is still considered a controlled illegal substance)! But IF one were to partake in any illegal activity, is it still kosher (for Passover that is)?

The article concludes that marijuana would fall under the classification of legumes, which means that, as always, the Sephardim get to have all the fun.


  1. This reminds me of a funny story from my past.. I was a pledge at the "hippie" fraternity at the U of Rochester, and some brothers invited me over for Passover. Strange enough, my parents at the time scared me out of ever using pot with their "Reefer Madness" mindset and yet I was in the process of joining a frat where almost everyone partook in the herb. Anyhow, when it was time to find the afikomen, I found the hidden matzoh, and when I opened it up, all of this green stuff fell out of the package, and I said "What's this and dropped it to the floor!" Boy was I embarrassed!

    At least at this frat brothers' place, it was definitely kosher for Passover :)

    1. Thanks for the comment! So once you fingures out what it was, was there a discuaaion about whether it was KLP?