Well, now I've seen just about everything. There is an actual debate taking place in Israel about the Passover status of marijuana. The Jerusalem Post called a number of rabbis trying to get a definative ruling. The following sums up what they heard:
As Rabbi Daniel Kohn of Bat Ayin explained, the issue ultimately boils down to an individual decision by each rabbi about whether hemp seeds themselves could be considered edible. If a rabbi decides that the seeds are edible, then hemp - and, by extension, marijuana - would not be considered permissible for Pessah.
How is this playing out among the masses? Sigh. Like this:
Hemp's tricky Pessah status has caused the first marital rift for Daniel and Sarah, who recently moved to Jerusalem from Chicago. The newlyweds, who asked not to use their last name, said they had just finished their Pessah cleaning when a friend asked them if he could buy the rest of their marijuana.
"We just had no idea what he meant. It turns out he was buying it from a lot of his observant friends so that they wouldn't have it in the house, [like] hametz," said Sarah. "We aren't habitual users, but we certainly smoke in our house, and we really aren't sure what our pipe may have come in contact with. It has caused a big crisis for us."
In the end, the two decided to quietly get rid of the rest of their marijuana (not by selling it to a friend, since it was kitniyot, and not hametz, they explained), and give their home one more cleaning before the holiday.
The Post also quotes Mobius of jewschool fame:
Kitniyot is no longer applicable. It's a tradition people keep going because they want to extend a perimeter so far outside the actual law of Torah that they could not possibly violate the actual law," said Dan Sieradski, an editor at JewSchool.com who has been at work on a book on Jews and drugs for several years.
"Clearly, you can use hemp in food," he said. "You might mix it into brownies. You aren't going to make bread out of it."
Here's my take:
- the kitniyot ban is foolish.
- marijuana can cause cancer (when injested as smoke).
- smoking marijuana rather than eating it in a brownie is a sakana.
- therefore, eat a loaded brownie (made from matzah meal or potato flour). Your health comes first.