Marijuana Is Kosher for Passover, Says 88-Year-Old Rabbi

He decided it has a "healing smell."

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Apr 22 2016, 5:07pm

Read: Weed Saved My Life After a Decade on Anxiety Meds

A leading Orthodox rabbi says that marijuana is kosher for Passover, the Israeli Times reports.

Chaim Kanievsky is an 88-year-old Belarusian rabbi, and according to the Times, he is widely considered the leading living ultra-Orthodox halachic authority.

In a video uploaded to YouTube by a pro-legalization group Cannabis Israel, Kanievsky can be seen making the ruling on marijuana. Concluding that the plant has a "medicinal smell," Kanievsky declares weed kosher for the eight-day Jewish festival, which adheres to strict dietary laws, ruling that it can be eaten or smoked.

Under normal circumstances, marijuana would be considered a member of the kitniyot group of legumes that are banned on Passover in parts of Europe—but he would allow cannabis for medical purposes for Jews from all backgrounds.

To make his decision, Kanievsky smelled some pot with another leader in the Orthodoxy, Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein. The two decide it has a "healing smell" before Zilberstein prays over the plant, blessing it.

"Praised are you, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who creates fragrant plants," he says. We couldn't agree more.

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