Kosher High

It is a known fact that more and more household goods are coming under organized kashrut supervision, including paper goods and even water.  Now, yet another item is apparently moving into the category of hechshered goods: Marijuana.
The Reading Eagle reports,

Federal agents arrested about a half-dozen people and seized 700 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $1 million at a kosher poultry processing plant in Exeter Township, authorities said Thursday.
The raid at G&G Poultry Inc. at 1100 Lincoln Road occurred Wednesday about 5:30 p.m., according to Exeter police, who assisted several federal agencies in the operation.

Now, the problem here is obvious.  If you are not eating the marijuana, it absolutely doesn’t need a hechsher, as long as you check it for bugs before smoking. 
How long are we going to allow this unnecessary continued expansion of the kashrut industry?
Hat tip: Failed Messiah
[Editor’s note: Kelsey’s opinion does not reflect Jewschool’s policy on kashrut or on kashrut supervision.  Please check with your local Conservative post-denominational rabbi before smoking marijuana without a hechsher.]

15 thoughts on “Kosher High

  1. Hilarious! Here’s an interesting question. Would medical marijuana need a hechsher? In fact does any medication need a hechsher?

  2. also, do you say a bracha before taking medicine? what about herbal teas? what about mouthwash/toothpaste?
    personally, i say “borei isvei v’samim/creator of the grass of spices” when i enjoy something that smells good…

  3. no matter what kind of medicine, pill, syrup whatever, it needs a hechsher and you say the brocha “shehakol (nihyeh bidvoro)” before it. herbal teas get a “borei p’ri ha-adamoh” marijuana… i’m not sure. if smokers say something, then it’s whatever they say. You could go ask somoene in boro park. i KNOW that they be gettin high up thar

  4. The real problem here is that you’d have to keep this stuff separate from your dairy stash… why make weed fleishig?

  5. Medicine is not food. Therefore, medicine does not get a bracha. Personally, before taking medicine, I have made up a short little prayer that I say. “Y’hi ratzon sh’tehe li lirfuah u’l’nachat ruach – It should be [God’s] will that this [medicine] should heal and comfort me.”
    As to weed. If you enjoy the smell, you should make a b’racha. But, being that it is a plant, the proper b’racha would be “borei isvei b’samim.” The same would go for tobacco. The smell of hash on the other hand, as a plant derivative, would receive a “borei minei b’samim.”
    Blessing you all, that all of your drug experiences, prescription and otherwise, should be healthy, happy, and lead you on a path to being a better human being and closer to God.

  6. Umm- not meaning to contradict anyone, or be pedantic, but my understanding is that pill form medicine does not ever need a hechsher. The only thing that is questionable is if flavor is added to make it taste better, but even then, some rabbis give a psak that medicine is medicine and does not need a hechsher any more than you need to be shomer negiah with your doctor.
    Herbal tea would not be pri adoma – it would be shehakol, just like any other liquid.

  7. I’ve heard numerous conversations about whether pot and especially pot brownies can be kosher. Usually people end up saying no. Because the plant has to be dried, and is often dried in ovens, and one doesn ‘t know if anything else, such as non kosher meat, is cooked in the ovens, one must assume that the pot is trayf. And certainly pot brownies not made in a kosher kitchen are trayf.

  8. I understand that there are volumes in the mystic library written on the subject of unifications to do when smoking. Many have to do with the incense in the temple…
    So THAT”S why the temple was such a popular place… they all got high!!!

  9. “If you are not eating the marijuana, it absolutely doesn’t need a hechsher, as long as you check it for bugs before smoking.”
    “If” indeed. If you are asthmatic, or emphysemic, or have some other contraindication of smoking as a delivery method, or just want not to afflict your roommates with a contact-high, you may be inclined to bake it into brownies.
    As an ingredient it would need a hechsher, assuming it is not being used medicinally. If it is being used medicinally, it may not.
    If it is being used recreationally – well there are jurisdictions outside the US where that is permitted, but I would think that recreational use withing the US would be prohibited under the precept of din malchut dina.

  10. Well, in the case of medicinal marijuana I know some states allow you to grow it yourself, which, as long as you’re in charge of all stages of processing and know the kashrus of whatever it is you may be using to process the plant for your digestive consumption, there would be no need for any outside supervision.
    Medicinal marijuana is technically pikuach nefesh at least in some cases esp. for some chemotherapy patients so it kashrus wouldn’t really be a halachic issue, cause you can eat a pigs liver if you need to stay alive.
    However, if you can’t smoke and you need it medicinally you could maybe circumvent the whole kashrus thing by vaporizing, but like I said for many medicinal cases this frankly isn’t an issue at all.
    That being said, recreational use will land you in jail, and jail sucks, so don’t do it. Very hard to get kosher food in jail.

  11. anything that can be used raw doesn’t have to have a hechsher evn when cooked, especially if the normal way of preparing it doesn’t have much chance of getting traifed. How many of the bourbons and whiskies served in shuls across the world have hechshers, or did anyone ever say needed hechshers?
    EVEN IF marijuna is dried in a traif oven, which i’m not sure is the main way it’s dried (california sun, anyone?) Weed preparers are rarely using that oven for anything else for the next long period of time, or do they use dishes not explicitly for the curing purposes.
    It’s interesting though that there would be more of a question about eating herb than smoking it. But most growers are doing a big enough operation that it’s not as much of a possible danger of traif oven, especially not used for something non-vegetable for 24 hours before.
    Plus, the gemara, if i recall correctly, dismisses the presence of traifish things if they don’t improve or affect the flavor. Am I pulling that last one out of thin air?

  12. White sugar would seem to me more of a kashrut mystery, seeing as lots of wild animals, pretty large ones, usually get burned up alive in the cane fields as part of the sugar pre-refinement process, where as the whole field is torched into some vats, with everyone locked inside from firefly to fox smoldered into the mix.
    I have to assume that the only reason it hasn’t been made a problem of is that the animals aren’t in anykind of recognizeable form in the sugar, or are they acrued to it’s benefit after the rest of the process.
    But if we want to be careful about oven residue, we might want to be unsugaregans too.

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