Allen Ginsberg, probably high.(Prometheus Unbound)
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Jews and Pot

Hell, we discovered the thing

Marc Tracy
October 27, 2010
Allen Ginsberg, probably high.(Prometheus Unbound)

Today, Tablet Magazine published Rebecca Spence’s dispatch from Berkeley, California, where a group of Orthodox Jews are inspired by their religion and spirituality to sell medicinal marijuana.

And yesterday, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency published Sue Fishkoff’s dispatch from Oakland, California (the town next to Berkeley, for those who don’t know), about how most of the people who seem to be leading the fight in favor of Proposition 19, which would essentially legalize small amounts of marijuana (albeit in contravention of federal law), happen to be Jews. “Jews have a special affinity to marijuana,” says High Times columnist Ed Rosenthal. “It’s an intellectual drug, not a drug that takes you outside your senses like alcohol or opiates. And a lot of marijuana research comes out of Israel.” (Indeed, reports Fishkoff, “THC, the active hallucinogenic ingredient in cannabis, was first isolated in 1964 by Raphael Mechoulam, now a professor of medicinal chemistry at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.”)

Bonus! Tablet Magazine contributing editor David Samuels hung out with the medicinal marijuana crowd in northern California and wrote about it for The New Yorker.

And let’s not forget that it was a Jewish guy who introduced marijuana to the Beatles.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.