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Subj:	Fwd: [Fwd: This Rabbi Deliver...
Date:	97-05-27 09:06:24 EDT
From:	TIFFYWIFF2
To:	greenlight1@hotmail.com, LEH36

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-----------------
Forwarded Message: 
Subj:	[Fwd: This Rabbi Delivers Pot]
Date:	97-05-25 18:55:12 EDT
From:	rastas@navix.net (rasmith)
Reply-to:	rastas@navix.net
To:	rastas@navix.net (rasmith)

'Pot Rabbi' holds out 'hemping' hand to sick
> >
> >      By GERSH KUNTZMAN
> >      ------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >      They call him "The Pot Rabbi."
> >
> >      But Brooklyn Rabbi Isaac Fried doesn't smoke pot or even
> >      support recreational dope smoking -- and even runs a
> >      drug-abuse support group for Jews.
> >
> >      But over the past few years, the rabbi has given marijuana
> >      to plenty of people, including homebound seniors with
> >      painful multiple sclerosis, people with AIDS and cancer
> >      patients.
> >
> >      Although there is some evidence the drug offers some medical
> >      benefit, the fact is it's illegal.
> >
> >      "I don't believe in drug use, but these are people who are
> >      in pain and are suffering," Fried, 48, of Flatbush, told The
> >      Post. "If I didn't help them, they'd be forced to go out
> >      into the street to get their medicine where they could get
> >      mugged, beaten or ripped off by drug dealers."
> >
> >      Mostly, Fried refers people to the Medical Marijuana Buyers
> >      Club, an underground group that sells pot to people with
> >      AIDS and cancer (as long as they provide medical papers to
> >      confirm their illnesses).
> >
> >      But the rabbi is not above making a hemp house call himself.
> >
> >      "He has some people who are too ill to travel, and he also
> >      has some people, like a Yiddish grandmother with glaucoma,
> >      who would have significant cultural discomfort hanging out
> >      with HIV-positive men," said Johann Moore, coordinator of
> >      the buyers club.
> >
> >      And naturally, Fried's flock swears by its Rabbi Feelgood.
> >
> >      "I know what he's doing is illegal, but he's doing a good
> >      thing," said multiple-sclerosis sufferer Barton, who
> >      declined to reveal his last name.
> >
> >      "This is a lousy disease and the marijuana made me feel
> >      better. What's the big deal?"
> >
> >      Barton, whose affliction has left him wheelchair-bound for
> >      eight years, said Fried's marijuana also gave him back his
> >      appetite.
> >
> >      "I lost 40 pounds since I got MS," said Barton. "I smoked
> >      the marijuana and it made me hungry for the first time in a
> >      while."
> >
> >      Distributing marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by fines
> >      of up to $250 and six months in jail, police said. But cops
> >      haven't aggressively pursued distributors like Fried
> >      because, Moore said, "they don't need the bad publicity of
> >      busting sick people."
> >
> >      Fried's pot passion takes him beyond the apartments and
> >      nursing homes where his clients live. He's also a fixture on
> >      the Lower East Side protest circuit, an odd sight in his
> >      black rabbinical garb holding a "Legalize Medical Marijuana"
> >      sign.
> >
> >      "Helping sick people should be dealt with by doctors, not
> >      drug dealers," said the rabbi, one of the founders of the
> >      Eighth Street Shul, a rebel congregation on the Lower East
> >      Side sometimes called "The Squatters' Synagogue."
> >
> >      One of the other programs Fried runs from the shul is Jews
> >      That Abuse, a support group for the drug-dependent.
> >
> >      "That shul attracts everyone from real Orthodox Jews to
> >      radical "Abbie Hoffman' Jews," said neighbor John Penley.
> >
> >      Fried's interest in the medicinal uses of the illegal herb
> >      began, he said, when his brother, Arthur, a drug abuser
> >      suffering from diabetes, died in 1992.
> >
> >      "When my brother died, I discovered he used marijuana to
> >      alleviate his convulsions and lack of appetite from his
> >      illnesses," said Fried, who earned his religious credentials
> >      at the Ohr Jerusalem Rabbinical Academy in Israel.
> >
> >      Fried admits many religious leaders reject his belief in
> >      marijuana's medical benefits, but claims the use of the
> >      "cannabis sativa" plant is mentioned in Jewish scripture as
> >      helping people reach a "state of clarity."
> >
> >      That biblical interpretation is not necessarily universally
> >      accepted.
> >
> >      "If marijuana is considered a hallucinogenic drug -- and I
> >      think it is -- then it would be prohibited because it allows
> >      people to lose control of their ability to make rational
> >      decisions," said Rabbi Steven Dworkin, vice president of the
> >      Rabbinical Council of America.
> >
> >      But Dworkin did not condemn Fried's marijuana ministry.
> >
> >      "But if it became accepted that there is a medical benefit,
> >      then it might be all right," he said.
> >
> >      Moore, of the Medical Marijuana Buyers Club, went further,
> >      saying religious officials should hail the hemp-holding
> >      rabbi as a true spiritual leader.
> >
> >      "I find it entirely appropriate that someone concerned with
> >      spiritual health is also concerned with physical health,"
> >      Moore said.
> >
> >      While Fried is proud of the work he's done, he is beginning
> >      to resent his nickname.
> >
> >      "Calling me "The Pot Rabbi' is just sensationalism," he
> >      said. "I'm not an advocate of pot, except for medical use."
> >      ------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >                  Copyright 1997, N.Y.P. Holdings Inc.
> > NY POST 5/25/97
> > http://www.nypostonline.com/sunday/news/news4.htm


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