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August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

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Thank you for weighing in with your thoughts. First off, you can be sure that Rav Moshe zt”l, a preeminent Gadol of his generation, did painstaking research and consulting and delved deeply into the subject before proscribing the use of marijuana.

You furthermore opine that the Torah does not prohibit marijuana use. Actually, in essence, the Torah does just that — when it commands us to be very heedful of our health (ushmartem meod es nafshosechem).

Intriguingly, you convey mixed messages as you vacillate between downplaying the dangers of smoking pot – “the degree of concern warranted is not clear” – and concurring with the opinion that it is a “real concern” (especially for the teenager).

Despite the ever-evolving nature of research and discovery, what’s remained a certainty is that marijuana is a drug that interferes with the workings of the mind. (This is aside from the addiction factor and physical harm from prolonged use.)

Even in the best-case scenario, where supposing the disruption of memory retention is temporary and wears off with the cessation of use, the loss of time and memory incurred by the user in the interim is permanent and can never be regained.

Your portrayal of Life in America in 2012 is quite accurate, and your suggestion to focus on the spiritual substance of our existence in this world is right on. In point of fact, life is what you make it — and in that context, parents mindlessly puffing away should not expect their children to give it up.

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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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