KOL KOREH: Dozens of Lakewood Roshei Yeshiva And Rabbonim Ban Sale And Use of Marijuana

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Nearly 75 Roshei Yeshiva and Rabbonim in Lakewood issued a Kol Koreh, Tuesday morning, banning the sale and use of marijuana. The Kol Koreh comes just as the State of New Jersey legalized the use of the drug.

The Kol Koreh has a strong warning for any Yeshiva engaging in its use, as well as Baalei Batim who sell marijuana (even legally).

The following is the English Kol Koreh, transcribed by YWN.

The original documents appear below:


Nissan 5781



Recently, the government of the State of New Jersey legalized the recreational use of marijuana.  There is no need to go into great lengths to describe the emotional, psychological, and spiritual destruction that is caused by any kind of drug use – including marijuana.  This leaves no room for any Jew to engage in recreational drug use of any kind, and one who engages in this kind of recreational activity should not be considered a member of our community.

To our great sorrow, there are unscrupulous individuals in our community who engage in the business of of selling marijuana and marijuana related items [for the purpose of profit-making], and they have already ensnared precious souls in their terrible net. Now that this type of drug has been legalized, it will be easier for them to push their wares more publicly and aggressively.

Therefore, we are coming to give warning to all the residents of our town, “Remove yourselves from the tents of these evil individuals, and you will not be destroyed through their evil deeds (Shmos 16:26).”

We also turn to the Rabbonim of our town with a plea. Please explain to the community at large the great danger that is hovering over our community, so that this terrible scourge should not chas veshalom spread in our community.  We ask, as well, that the Rabbonim reach out to all those that dedicate themselves to the tzibbur, and plead with them to do all that is in their power to uproot the unscrupulous sellers of marijuana and marijuana related items from our community – so that they should not be able to continue in their crooked ways.

It is self-evident that allowing this culture to pervade our ihr haTorah will put the entire fabric of Lakewood into great jeopardy.  Therefore, we hereby serve notice that any student of our yeshivos who will engage in the recreational use of marijuana, in any form, at any time, even in the slightest way, is considered a poretz gidros olam, has no place in our community, nor in our yeshivos, and will suffer severe consequences as is appropriate to a terrible breach such as this one.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. Hopefully, the compliance will be better than the numerous and frequently repeated directives against use of conventional cigarettes. There were still way too many smokers hanging around doorways and entrances of various yiddeshe mosdos in Lakewood the last time I was there (about 3 years ago). Maybe its changed during the pandemic but I doubt it.

  2. Thank you to all of you who have voted for the socialist liberal Democrat Leftists. YOU are responsible for the downfall of society.

    Don’t tell me it’s not a gateway drug. Don’t give me any of your garbage. It’s a bunch of hypocrisy. The only reason you believe what you believe is because you are a pothead!

  3. So, any kind of drug use is forbidden, even casual use, because reasons.

    * Excluding caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Because more reasons.

  4. So someone has an addiction is thrown out of the community? Someone who drinks alcohol is thrown out of the community? What about the people who rip other people off and yet are still welcome in the community because they have to such and such. What about the people who had businesses years before this that sold paraphernalia and synthesized drugs which weren’t inherently illegal but I know of a number of Rabbonim on this list that went shy taking their money even with the knowledge of what they were doing. If you don’t need it don’t use it. This includes alcohol but please stop the hypocrisy. If you need it talk to a doctor. You may not want to go the “medical” way which has certain burdens that non medical don’t. This Kol Koreh is null and void as it has arbitrarily stigmatized people who don’t deserve it. It also makes people apprehensive about using a potentially helpful drug even if medically prescribed. Shame, Shame and Shame.

  5. This “kol koreh” is a great beginning!
    Now let them ban (tobacco)cigarette smoking, which kills and does harm to hundreds of thousands of Americans each year including our brethren and Yeshiva-leit!!

  6. Let me begin this by saying that I do not condone the use of any mind altering substance (other than caffeine, for obvious reasons).
    My view on Marijuana is that if alcohol is legal and available for sale Marijuana should be as well. Let me explain, alcohol is far MORE addictive and dangerous for your body than Marijuana and causes serious liver and other issues with regular use where as Marijuana does not. In fact if an alcoholic tries to quit cold turkey their body would go into shock and they would have to be weaned off of it, whereas Marijuana the body can tolerate going cold turkey. Using any mind altering substance will always have some side effects but Marijuana is definitely not worse than alcohol and these same Rabanim seem to have no issue with alcohol . Banning Marijuana sales and use and not banning alcohol seems so backwards to me.
    Instead they should be developing educational tools to use in schools and yeshivas to educate boys and girls about the horrible effects of using mind altering substances including both Marijuana and alcohol as well as others. Just banning things outright will have the same result as the internet ban.

  7. Yeah, good luck with that!
    These Rabbis have been screaming for ever, about people getting falling-down-drunk on every Purim, and it never stopped any of the fools who insist on getting plastered!

  8. Honestly, If alcohol is legal i don’t see the difference why Pot should not be legal. Having 1 or 2 smoking sessions is like having 1 or 2 beers. do we ban liquor stores selling Hard alcohol? if your not gonna go make a big stink against a liquor store for selling scotch and bourbon why do we need to make a big deal about a cannabis dispensary?

    Sure if someone sits and wastes there time smoking weed all day its a bad thing i get it. but what about the alcoholics who drink all day? is that not also a bad thing? in fact its way worse! alcoholics get violent, destroy there brains, destroy their livers, get major withdrawal symptoms, and more. while potheads just sit and stare into space for an hr. or 2 with less motor control and then 2 hrs later the high dissipates and they are back to normal. is that a Jewish thing to do to sit and waste time for an hr in another world? probably not. but neither is getting plastered drunk and that’s worse.

  9. Okay all you people that are bashing Lakewood, take it out of Lakewood and put it into your own town. If you are in New Jersey, this is an issue. If you are not in New Jersey but you’re In New York, it will be an issue for you as soon as Governor Cuomo tries to make nice with the leftists (all it will take is another “victim” or two). This is already an issue in many other states.

    As for those who think that it’s okay because other things are worse or better or whatever it is, get off it. We don’t operate like that. This is worse and this is better so therefore let’s do this, so now we have two bad things. Whoopee! The fact is that it’s bad! Why the other thing was approved, why people drink, why people smoke, it makes no difference here.

    This is a horrible horrible horrible thing for any sane society which, unfortunately, we seem not to be.

    This is why the leftists need to be defeated!

  10. Is there a hetter to use if it helps a yochid to shtayg in limud haTorah and be more with the chevrah? It certainly takes the edge off someone giving a chaburah.

    Sometimes a person might need “outside” kochos to become shtark in hasmoda and shkidah, so there is maybe room for indulgence, of course all l’shem shomayim?

    After all, multiple single malt shots on leil shabbos are considered oneg v’kovod shabbos and are l’kovod shomayim, as witnessed by many kollel wives.

    I noticed that the kol koreh has zero consequence or “teeth” for transgressors – like immediate expulsion/eviction from yeshiva/kollel to users, cherem on anyone selling/supplying/sharing…and I can only guess why.

    But my real shaylah to some signatories, given the choice, what would be worse, getting a measles vaccine or using dope?! We know their views on vaccines.

  11. How about giving Lakewooders some other outlet to relax such as an עירוב so that people could get out & socialize & share שבת סעודות together, and then maybe the urge for pot will be stifled by having other modes of relaxation & socializing

  12. I don’t do drugs.however I know people who use marijuana for auto immune diseases and people who had cancer and used it while taking chemo.

  13. Safe to assume that anyone buying and smoking marijuana doesn’t give a hoot about what the Rabbis think. This kol kore is a complete waste of time.

  14. No offense, and Kol Hakavod to the Rabbonim and their position; But,

    I guess they missed the part about the raging community alcohol problems;

    And: The medical benefits proven 1000% by peer reviewed studies throughout the world

    And: Lipa; that went really well.

    And: the Internet; excellent Ban!!

    Such a well thought out announcement I’m sure all the zeidees puffing away will immediately cease use.

    There are so many benefits to THC that this Is just probably a joke.

  15. Clearly it sounds like there are things going on that the rabbonim are aware of concerning those selling the marijuana. One salient point here is that New Jersey hasn’t yet issued regulations on how to legally sell marijuana; they only decriminalized the use and possession of it in smaller amounts. If these unscrupulous individuals selling pot are threatening the entire community’s fabric through doing something illegal, is it assur to call the police?

  16. I smoke often, and learn. It helps me. I have a heter from my rebbe, because otherwise I am an insomniac and will have headaches all day, like i have had since childhood. It also helps me daven and learn.

    A blanket issur seems lacking.

    Did they consult with amudim before saying that anyone who smokes marijuana is not part of klal Yisrael?

    That statement alone is enough to make any halfway out the doors, out the door.

  17. 90% of the comments above sound like mecharef umegadef al divrei chachomim.

    Addiction is only some of the problem, the larger problem is the spaced-out pothead effect which is against everything we hold dear – that our minds and neshomos should always be ready to focus on the RBSO. Cigarettes are bad, and no-one should smoke, but the comparison is purile.

    If the comments above are representative of Lakewood, or indeed USA frumme velt then BH I don’t live there, or anywhere close.

  18. Rational- I give a great hoot about what they say. And that is why this pains me so much.

    To say if you smoke, you don’t care, is childish, and stereotypical.

  19. It seems all the past comments have been arguing the point of the less of two evils and that is simply the wrong thing. Just because people do something and this in your opinion isn’t as bad, so we’re better off doing this?!
    Come on grow up.
    First of all I would like to just put out there that I do respect daas Torah but I still have a right to question them, I’m not a robot and I never will be.
    To me the issue with this kol koreh is the approach.
    If you don’t want boys in yeshivah to smoke weed there is a healthy and proper way to go about that, maybe explain to them what it is first and have a discussion about it
    I don’t believe in the method of instilling fear to proclaim something.
    I grew up in Lakewood and at a young age I looked at god as the monster/boogeyman.
    And that’s wrong the wrong approach to Judaism. And I don’t want anybody else to go through that.

  20. Where can one get medicinal marijuana for auto immune disease?

    Medicinal marijuana does not make a person high and their are studies that show it may help for some auto immune diseases

  21. Rebetzin, Nadav Vaavihu drank wine in order to make themselves fill happy, but the Torah should make us happy and not outside stimuli, so mariijuana should not be required. If a person understands things from learning, it will encourage one to learn more.

  22. “Nadav Vaavihu drank wine in order to make themselves feel happy” – and it would have been ok, but for the fact that they entered the kodesh. Does that mean that the drinking was wrong or it was wrong for the place they entered? And why indeed did they use outside stimuli, when they could have used your great advice to become happy and drunk on Torah?! Adarabah, this is a rayah that “outside stimuli” IS a good idea. And let’s not forget the ketores, which is to enhance ruchniyus! And even the mundane b’somim on motzei shabbos – to nurture the neshama.

  23. Anyone who speaks is considered a mecharef and a migadef, apparently.

    Please, whoever keeps saying this, please partner your lips, 2 שפת into a שתוף, and shut up, yourself.

    You need to understand how disgusting and chutzpahdik it is to tell a person who values only torah, and what the rabanim have to say, and literally nothing else, that he is a micharef and a megadef. Look at the amalek within yourself, and if you don’t think it’s there, then he has gotten you already.