I was glad to see the support for Medical Marijuana in Rabbi Wallace Greene’s article in the issue of April 27, “Medical Marijuana and Jewish Law.” For New Jersey, several of the medical conditions for which marijuana is known to be a valuable aid are excluded from the program. This includes post traumatic stress syndrome. Yet Israel has been pioneering this use of cannabis to its soldiers. There seems to be a fear of marijuana that precludes allowing it to be used for more people.
It should be noted that there are virtually no negative side effects. During years when there was no medical marijuana allowed, the product had to be cultivated in underground market conditions, and this led to an inferior product. Since the mid 1990s, the quality of this medicine has greatly improved. Today, growers are able to grow strains that are more medicinal in nature. Medical marijuana, more often than not, is not smoked, but is given orally, or via a vaporizer, which heats but does not burn the product, rendering it harmless, yet effective.
Of interest to me would be the halachic position of supporting politicians who oppose allowing proven drugs such as marijuana from being used to relieve pain or excessive stress.