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This is not the case in Israel, where medical marijuana has been legal since the early 1990s. International cannabis research today is largely based on the 1960s research of Jerusalem-based professors Raphael Mechoulam and Yechiel Gaoni, who isolated the active ingredient of hashish and its psychoactive component, tetrahydrocannabinol, as well as the natural human analog to THC, anandamide, which the body produces. In the past decade, Israeli scientists developed a strain of marijuana without THC. According to Glassman, the Israeli government funds the research on medical marijuana, which today benefits some 12,000 Israeli patients and is grown on eight farms for a state-run medical cannabis distribution center.
Glassman’s presentation includes a November 8, 2012 CNN video entitled “Medical Marijuana without the High,” which features 80-year-old Israeli Holocaust survivor, author and painter Moshe Roth smoking medical marijuana. “My hands are now steady. I can hold things like tea,” says a discernibly buzzed Roth. “We can’t be … narrow minded,” says Israeli Minister of Communications Moshe Kahlon in the video. “We have to think about people suffering and how to help them without, God forbid, allowing more use of drugs….”
Glassman agrees: “I think that cannabis is a wonderful solution for someone to control pain without the addictive nature of painkillers, and with a much better safety profile.”
“Science aside, the greatest of medications allow the Infinite to penetrate the inner workings of the body and soul,” he explained. “This is likely the overriding benefit that cannabis provides, and probably why it has so many different healing properties.”
Boston-area poet, author and freelance journalist Susie Davidson writes regularly for The Jewish Advocate and other media and has contributed to the Boston Sunday Globe and the Boston Herald.