by Karl Radl

The Purity Spiral

The Jews behind the Push to Legalise Cannabis

(3rd Edition)

In my article on the Israeli Cannabis Export Industry; (1) I pointed out that the Israeli government as well as its business community and its kibbutzim see the ‘medical marijuana’ trade – worth $20 billion a year – (2) as a lucrative opportunity and a way to stabilize financially unstable jewish communities in the occupied Palestinian territories. (3)

As I pointed out in my article; this is significant because jews are significantly and disproportionately represented among cannabis producers and proponents of legalising cannabis.

As Saul Kaye – Chief Executive of iCAN: Israel-Cannabis – rightly states ‘the cannabis industry [is] “very Jewish”’ and he estimates ‘that Jews make up between 20 and 30 per cent of attendees at his conferences.’ (4)

Kaye – an Israeli – is lobbying the British government to legalise cannabis (for obvious reasons) and claims that he will be successful within 18 months, (5) while also promoting cannabis legislation in a multitude of other countries such as the United States. (6)

Kaye is not alone since to quote the Jewish News of Northern California:

‘Joanna Arenstein has a slogan: “Jews and weed go together like … Jews and weed.”

As the executive director of East Bay Canna, she knows a lot of people in the cannabis community — and that means she knows a lot of Jews.

“We’re everywhere,” Arenstein said with a laugh.

Pushing regulatory policy, looking at the thorny legal issues of cannabis law, participating in the industry through business or education, exploring the uses of medical marijuana, or incorporating pot into religious practices and spiritual ceremonies — in many ways Jews have long been at the forefront of efforts to bring cannabis into the American mainstream, legalizing and normalizing its use.

“Oh, yes, it’s definitely true,” said Peter Rosenberg, a partner at Merida Capital Partners, an equity fund that invests in companies that serve the cannabis industry.

And why? Maybe it’s because Israel has been a leader in medical marijuana research. Or maybe it’s the way states’ legalization of marijuana, medical or recreational, has created a space for new and inventive entrepreneurs. Or maybe it’s the social justice aspect of the legalization movement that appeals.’ (7)

Indeed one of the leading ‘experts’ being used to promote the legal cultivation of marijuana is Shimon Abta – a highly religious jew and an Israeli citizen – who has been recently deported from the United States for trafficking in illegal drugs. (8)

Another is Shaya Brodchandel – CEO of Harmony Dispensary operating out of Secaucus, New Jersey – is a jew from Crown Heights, New York and a fervent member of the Lubavitch Chabad. (9)

Yet another is Josh Genderson – CEO of Holistic Industries operating out of Northeast Philadelphia but trading under the name ‘Liberty Cannabis’ in Pennsylvania – who is jewish and employees jewish ‘Wellness Experts’ like one named Alan Fishman to promote his product to non-jewish Americans. (10)

The CARERS act – which would end the federal prohibition of medical marijuana in the United States – (11) was originally sponsored by Democrat Senators Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand. (12)

Booker has an extraordinarily close relationship with the ultra-Orthodox Lubavitch Chabad (13) – who would financial benefit from the export of cannabis from the numerous and currently loss-making religious kibbutzim and whose members are already involved in the promotion of cannabis-use to non-jews – (14) while Gillibrand is well known to be a slavish tool utilised by the Israel lobby. (15)

While the bill’s recent reintroduction has been sponsored by both these senators as well as the jewish politicians Steve Cohen – who apparently was the largely silent éminence grise behind the original bill – (16) and Al Franken. (17)

Even jewish publications have got in on the act with the Jewish Daily Forward even openly printing recipes for food infused with cannabis (18) as well as talking about how ‘good jewish dads’ smoke weed. (19) Similarly the Jewish News of Northern California has been promoting cannabis as a cure for various medical conditions such as epilepsy (20) and Rabbi Ariel Abel has given his approval to the use of cannabis ‘for medical reasons’ in the UK’s Jewish News. (21) Cannabis has even been formally awarded kosher status by one Rabbi Avrohom Litvin of ‘Kentucky Kosher’. (22)

Jews have historically been closely-linked to the promotion of smoking cannabis as seen in the fact that the famous label ‘420’ was invented by five high school students in California. Three of them – Steve Capper, Mark Gravich and Larry Schwartz – were jewish. (23)

Heck the jews in Israel are already building the infrastructure with one Tamir Gedo – head of Breath of Life Pharma – boasting that he will be able to produce and supply enough ‘medical marijuana’ to completely satisfy the current demand for it in the United States. (24) For which they predict a profit of some 2-3 billion Israeli shekels (circa $578 to $867 million) a year in tax revenue for the Israeli government. (25)

As Rolling Stone has put it: ‘Israel is becoming the offshore greenhouse for American cannabis companies seeking to overcome the federal roadblocks.’ (26)

Therefore is it any wonder that jews cannot set up companies cultivating and sell cannabis fast enough? (27)

So as we can see; it is jews who are disproportionately behind the push for the legalisation of cannabis in both the United Kingdom and the United States.

References

(1) Semitic Controversies: The Israeli Cannabis Export Industry

(2) Israel’s medical marijuana pioneers look to cash in on $20bn market | Science | The Guardian

(3) http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/04/israel-medical-cannabis-kibbutzim-industry-export-law.html; http://www.timesofisrael.com/can-medical-marijuana-revive-israels-kibbutz-movement;http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/380016/can-medical-marijuana-revive-israel-s-kibbutz-movement/;https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2017-04-11/israel-is-a-global-leader-in-marijuana-research; https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/apr/03/israels-medical-marijuana-pioneers-look-to-cash-in-on-20bn-market; http://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-cannabis/israel-looks-to-leverage-tech-in-50-billion-medical-marijuana-market-idUSKBN16U1PZ

(4) https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/meet-the-israeli-entrepreneur-bringing-a-cannabis-conference-to-britain-1.443627

(5) Ibid.; also see Israeli medical marijuana firms to take centre stage at UK summit | Jewish News

(6) Israel’s medical marijuana pioneers look to cash in on $20bn market | Science | The Guardian

(7) As recreational cannabis arrives, California Jews are ready

(8) http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Nevada-welcomed-Israeli-marijuana-scientist-US-immigration-threw-him-out-540391

(9) Growing Medical Marijuana In Secaucus, New Jersey – The Forward

(10) Second Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens – Jewish Exponent

(11) http://forward.com/fast-forward/374844/steve-cohen-al-franken-cosponsor-medical-marijuana-bill/

(12) https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2016/04/13/why-the-carers-act-is-so-significant-for-marijuana-policy-reform/

(13) http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/140767/cory-bookers-jewish-story

(14) http://lubavitch.com/news/article/2029632/Israel-Secular-Kibbutz-Members-Welcome-Torah-Study-Prayer.html; http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/333139/faux-brooklyn-brownstone-rises-6-000-miles-away-in-only-all-chabad-kibbutz/;https://chabadwiorg.clhosting.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/3243583/jewish/Shabbat-on-the-Kibbutz.htm;https://crownheights.info/chabad-news/493793/pioneers-seek-to-create-new-chabad-village-in-israel/; on the kibbutzim being loss-making see Eliezer Ben-Rafael, 1997, ‘Crisis and Transformation: The Kibbutz at Century’s End’, 1st Edition, State University of New York Press: Albany, p. 97 ; on the Chabad’s involvement in it see: Growing Medical Marijuana In Secaucus, New Jersey – The Forward

(15) For example: Cosponsors – S.720 – 115th Congress (2017-2018): Israel Anti-Boycott Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress Senate Bill Would Make It a Federal Crime to Boycott Israel

(16) This is implied by numerous sources such as: http://forward.com/fast-forward/374844/steve-cohen-al-franken-cosponsor-medical-marijuana-bill/; https://www.rollcall.com/news/cohen-says-kushner-will-determine-kush-policy; http://www.businessinsider.com/congressman-steve-cohen-argued-with-dea-agent-about-pot-2014-5?IR=T; http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/09/rep-steve-cohen-says-trumps-marijuana-policy-hazy/100134572/

(17) http://forward.com/fast-forward/374844/steve-cohen-al-franken-cosponsor-medical-marijuana-bill/

(18) http://forward.com/food/371056/making-moms-challah-with-a-twist-of-pot/

(19) Jewish Dad Marijuana – The Forward

(20) My son has epilepsy. Cannabis saved his life. – J.

(21) Torah For Today! This week…  Medical cannabis | Jewish News

(22) GenCanna™ Announces Official Kosher Certification For Its Hemp-Derived Products | Markets Insider

(23) Meet the Waldos: the true story of the Marin stoners who coined ‘420’ – J.

(24) http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/how-booming-israeli-weed-industry-is-changing-american-pot-w499117

(25) Cannabis legalization can yield NIS 2.3b tax bonanza, report says | The Times of Israel

(26) http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/how-booming-israeli-weed-industry-is-changing-american-pot-w499117

(27) Israeli pot dealers boost business with high tech smokescreen | The Times of Israel ; https://forward.com/culture/food/393607/the-uber-of-the-weed-industry/