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September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

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Furthermore, as cited by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there is a proven link between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.

The hard reality is that marijuana slows down and alter one’s thought processes, causes loss of concentration, impairs coordination, and weakens verbal and communication skills. The young and developing brain is especially at risk of suffering long-lasting structural and functional impairment.

Lest adults and seniors feel complacent about their “weed” indulgence: Marijuana can increase one’s heart rate, alter one’s blood pressure and increase angina; reduce the size and birth weight of a fetus in the pregnant smoker, and increase the risk of non lymphoblastic leukemia in children whose mothers indulged before or during gestation.

Symptoms that may be indicative of marijuana use: breathing difficulties, nausea, headaches, decreased coordination, increased appetite, bloodshot eyes, sleepiness, memory loss, anxiety, paranoia, tremors, confusion, hallucinations, increased heart rate, and dry mouth.

So what measures can we exert on the young and foolish (and the not-so-young but foolish) who would waste their G-d given potential and trade quality of life for some fleeting and meaningless artificial highs?

There are yeshivas today that drug-test their students and execute a no-nonsense approach toward positive testers. Perhaps it’s time for other learning institutions to follow suit.

The heads of some orthodox Jewish communities have lately taken matters in hand, determined to thwart the growing menace in their midst. They have formed committees that make it their business to track down the weed peddlers — who are then summarily warned to stay away or find themselves facing the serious consequences of conducting illegal activity.

As has been repeatedly emphasized in this space, the best defense against external influences getting the better of our youth is for parents to cultivate open communication with their children, and teach by example. (One can hardly blame the child of a parent who smokes for lighting up.)

We must also see to providing our children with enough mind stimulation and physical recreation, via wholesome and positive activities and pastimes, so that they are less motivated to wander off in search of a fix to allay their boredom and frustration.

No, there are no guarantees in life, but confronting the problem rather than pretending it doesn’t exist gives us at least the chance to keep it in check.

Thank you for being concerned and speaking out.

* * * * *

We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to  rachel@jewishpress.com  or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


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3 Responses to “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities”

  1. As the founder of Jews Against Prohibition, I want to point out that this article is a perfect example of anti-drug hysteria and the perpetuation of falsehoods and ignorance about marijuana that, presented in the pursuit of a zero-tolerance drug policy, increases the likelihood of drug abuse. Marijuana, if vaporized rather than smoked, is not harmful to the body (it is the smoking that is harmful, not the marijuana), nor is marijuana harmful to the mind, as no evidence exists to show that marijuana kills brain cells, as alcohol does. Clearly, one may be somewhat impaired while under the influence, yet the impairment and harm to the individual is proven to be far less severe than alcohol, which is perfectly acceptable to use in both halacha and secular law. Furthermore, quoting the National Institute on Drug Abuse about marijuana is like quoting an antisemitic tractate about Jews — it is not a neutral sources that seeks to illustrate the pros and cons of a given issue. Indeed, numerous studies funded by European governments, the Israeli government, and even some funded by the NIDA that have been discarded for not serving the organization's agenda, have found marijuana to be far less harmful than some would have us believe. The true reason for marijuana's illegality is not its potentially harmful effects, but its value to the prison industrial complex. 85% of America's 2.5 million prisoners are there for non-violent drug offenses, which generates a pretty penny for the state and law enforcement agencies. That is the only genuine danger marijuana poses to our youth: That they might get arrested for it. Spreading zero-tolerance anti-drug propaganda in order to discourage them from indulging in marijuana will only lead them to distrust your opinions when they smoke for the first time and discover that it is not nearly as harmful as you have been telling them.

  2. As the founder of Jews Against Prohibition, I want to point out that this article is a perfect example of anti-drug hysteria and the perpetuation of falsehoods and ignorance about marijuana that, presented in the pursuit of a zero-tolerance drug policy, increases the likelihood of drug abuse. Marijuana, if vaporized rather than smoked, is not harmful to the body (it is the smoking that is harmful, not the marijuana), nor is marijuana harmful to the mind, as no evidence exists to show that marijuana kills brain cells, as alcohol does. Clearly, one may be somewhat impaired while under the influence, yet the impairment and harm to the individual is proven to be far less severe than alcohol, which is perfectly acceptable to use in both halacha and secular law. Furthermore, quoting the National Institute on Drug Abuse about marijuana is like quoting an antisemitic tractate about Jews — it is not a neutral source that seeks to illustrate the pros and cons of a given issue. Indeed, numerous studies funded by European governments, the Israeli government, and even some funded by the NIDA that have been discarded for not serving the organization's agenda, have found marijuana to be far less harmful than some would have us believe. The true reason for marijuana's illegality is not its potentially harmful effects, but its value to the prison industrial complex. 85% of America's 2.5 million prisoners are there for non-violent drug offenses, which generates a pretty penny for the state and law enforcement agencies. That is the only genuine danger marijuana poses to our youth: That they might get arrested for it. Spreading zero-tolerance anti-drug propaganda in order to discourage them from indulging in marijuana will only lead them to distrust your opinions when they smoke for the first time and discover that it is not nearly as harmful as you have been telling them.

  3. As the founder of Jews Against Prohibition, I want to point out that this article is a perfect example of anti-drug hysteria and the perpetuation of falsehoods and ignorance about marijuana that, presented in the pursuit of a zero-tolerance drug policy, increases the likelihood of drug abuse. Marijuana, if vaporized rather than smoked, is not harmful to the body (it is the smoking that is harmful, not the marijuana), nor is marijuana harmful to the mind, as no evidence exists to show that marijuana kills brain cells, as alcohol does. Clearly, one may be somewhat impaired while under the influence, yet the impairment and harm to the individual is proven to be far less severe than alcohol, which is perfectly acceptable to use in both halacha and secular law. Furthermore, quoting the National Institute on Drug Abuse about marijuana is like quoting an antisemitic tractate about Jews — it is not a neutral source that seeks to illustrate the pros and cons of a given issue. Indeed, numerous studies funded by European governments, the Israeli government, and even some funded by the NIDA that have been discarded for not serving the organization's agenda, have found marijuana to be far less harmful than some would have us believe. The true reason for marijuana's illegality is not its potentially harmful effects, but its value to the prison industrial complex. 85% of America's 2.5 million prisoners are there for non-violent drug offenses, which generates a pretty penny for the state and law enforcement agencies. That is the only genuine danger marijuana poses to our youth: That they might get arrested for it. Encouraging widespread drug testing will not reduce drug use, but only create resentment for the violation of individual privacy. Are these students or prisoners? Spreading zero-tolerance anti-drug propaganda in order to discourage youth from indulging in marijuana will only lead them to distrust your opinions when they smoke for the first time and discover that it is not nearly as harmful as you have been telling them.

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