Monday, March 28, 2011

Mainstream Marijuana: Religious Use of Marijuana Today

Everyday there are hundreds of marijuana related arrests across the United States, many of them claiming fictitious religious use. Many of these are just fakes making a claim on behalf of the first amendment to the Constitution which states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." In realitiy though, is there any actual use of marijuana in mainstream religion today? We did the research and have found out.


Lets start in the first story in the first book of the Torah, Adam and Eve. God said to Adam and Eve that they may eat of any plant in the Garden of Eden, except for the tree in the center - the Tree of Life. Of course, it also says the Garden of Eden was located between the Tigris and Euphretes rivers, later known as Babylonia. It is widely known that the Babylonians used Marijuana in religious practice, so therefore it must grow naturally in this area. Since Marijuana grows natually in the area of the Garden of Eden, does that not make it either the Tree of Life or religiously accepted in Judaism? Even with one example, lets move on to make a stronger point.

In Exodus 30:22-33 it describes in the Torah the ingredients to use in the jewish Holy Annointing Oil, listing one ingrediant as Kaneh-Bosem which translates to fregrent cane. There is an ongoing arguemnt over whether this ingrediant was Cannabis or Calamus, both of which are fregrant and cane-like. The point where the arguement seems to fall apart at though, is that Calamus grows is wetlands, differing greatly from the dry climate of Israel. It is also claimed that Kaneh-Bosem is where the word Cannabis actually came from.

At this point we were still curious to see what the people of the Jewish faith had to say about all of this. We went to Rabbi Jo David or who would not confirm the above information but did give a personal statement on marijuana use, "I support the use of medical marijuana, I discourage the use of all mind altering substances, including alcoholic beverages, for the sake of just getting "high."  I think there's a big difference between the use of marijuana by adults (ok if they really want to do this) and by teens (not a good idea because they really can't handle the fall out.)  I think that marijuana should be decriminalized but controlled like alcohol and tobacco."


Most Muslim scholars will agree that Marijuana as a drug is absolutly haraam (forbidden), but throughout history there have been examples of its use in Islam. One such story is of Haydar, the Persian leader of Sufism, was said to have eaten cannabis and it helped him preach, and so he suggested other monks try it. Other stories include tribes in Mauritania incorporating it into their prayer, and many more. Many of these stories would be called heretical by most muslim scholars, but it may be possible that marijuana is not even haraam is Islam. Some scholars have stated that khamr (which in practice bans the use of cannabis), actually meant fermented drink and is therefore talking about alcohol, which has always been known as a poison. This would make cannabis, which is neither a drink or fermented, technically legal in Islam.

At this point, we did not know if cannabis was haraam or halal, so again we turned to a cleric. Here we turned to the Mufti at Darulfatwa, the highest Islamic body in Australia. The Mufti discredited the stories that we had, again saying that these were from false paths of Islam and that khamr is regarded to mean "intoxicant." Though the Mufti did say that in mainstream Islam marijuana is haraam, he did make one statement on medical marijuana, "The only case where drugs are allowed is in the medical field through a professional doctor."
Let it be known that Islam also sees the original Torah (in Islam it is call the Tawrat) as a holy book, therefore if cannabis is used in Judaism it would also be used in Islam.


It is widely known that cannabis is used in many rituals in Islam, and is the only religion that widely and openly permits its use. Marijuana is considered in Hinduism to be a gift from Shiva, or even an extract from his body. Some hindus smoke the marijuana and release the smoke onto pictures or statues of shiva, and some Yogi's smoke it to aid in sadhana. It is most widely used in the form of Bhang in a drink, smoked in clay pipes, or by smoking plain resin. Because of its widespread use in Hindusim, marijuana is legal to sell in a government shop in India.


  1. First of all,

    Second of all, just because something is permitted in Judaism says nothing about it's permissiblity in Islam. Wine, for example. BUT the social permissibility of Hash and Cannabis in Islam is and was certainly a factor in any continued use of Cannabis in Judaism, from the 9th to 13th centuries, when most of Judea lived in Islamic countries.

    Cannabis use, like polygamy, becomes relatively rare and taboo in European Judaism, because every form of Judaism is subject to the cultural "advancements" of every country it is in for more than a few hundred years. That's part of the nature of Judaism, after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, and the shifting of it's legal authority from prophets and kings to scholars and rabbis: to adjust and evolve according to, and in relationship to, the emerging priorities of the host civilization, and the survival needs inherent in that survival, be they reactionary or indulgent. Upsurge in religious Jewish cannabis use in the twentieth century is certainly a reflection of this, as the entire world subculture (with the exception of either the most extreme committed conservatives, or the most devoted health purists) embraced cannabis as the safest, most natural, and least demanding of conciousness relievers and Babylon liberation tools. Yes.

  2. Such a good post.

  3. I believe that marijuana is not going to have a bad image if those people who use it in wrong purpose will be stop. I read some articles that marijuana is a good medicine that can treat some illness.