Reply To: Drug addicts in yeshiva

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My question is:

Why is it ok to have a bottle of schnapps on the table at shul at 9am, but in many of your opinions- a “rebellion against the kingdom of heaven” young observant men to smoke a joint (responsibly) for, recreational or de-stressing purposes? It is my humble opinion that alcohol consumption, when abused, is far more inebriating, disabling, intoxicating… whatever you want to call it. Alcohol poses a far greater risk for abuse, addiction, carelessness/tragedy- statistically, because it is legal and more easily obtainable than marijuana, practically, because its virtually impossible to overdose or become “emergency room” sick from smoking even ten consecutive joints, whereas alcohol consumption, by contrast, can quickly spiral out of control starting with having one too many drinks…

Of course marijuana, and the high effect from smoking it, in most cases is not conducive to learning- and alcohol is certainly worse in this regard. But what about for those of us who are not learning? How is it worse for us to smoke than to drink? It’s clear that in our beautiful religion, there has been a long history of using alcohol for purposes of sanctity and elevation of spirit- our rabbis and forefathers taught us that even something which is dangerous and has the potential to cause chaos can be used in a way to serve hashem.

I am not coming to defend the political or personal agendas of those in power advocating for legalization. I am simply trying to tell you, from extensive personal experience, that its not the evil you think it is.

This next point is opinionated and probably arguable, because I (and I think nobody else) knows the facts- but I feel that the only reason alcohol is OK in many of your opinions because of the role it plays in Jewish life. Perhaps if weed was around in biblical times it would have been used in rituals as a way to serve gd. Consequently it wouldn’t be outlawed in most lands like it is today, and wouldn’t have all of the misconceptions currently associated with it.