Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Jews and Drugs

As many of you know, 4/20 is coming up. It happens to be the last day of Passover this year, but is also a counterculture holiday on which marijuana is traditionally smoked (known commonly as "four-twenty").

A slew of articles have surfaced in the JTA recently dealing with drugs in the Jewish sphere. American teens are getting busted in study-abroad programs in Israel, substance abuse is reportedly on the rise in the Jewish community in the US and in Israel, and supposedly even elderly Jews are taking part in the fun. This all brings back memories of last year in Jerusalem when a yeshiva student overdosed on heroine. Many people were scandalized. Are these isolated incidents, or is there an epidemic at hand?

Well if you want to see actual video footage of how real and how bad the situation is for some people, check out this music video. The rapper is a Jew named Necro, and one of those men is his uncle.

A couple of the JTA articles I listed above suggest that there is a drug epidemic in the Jewish world, but that it's never discussed. I might ask, in light of my Health Psychology class earlier this year, if there isn't a drug epidemic and dependency problem in the US at large? Maybe there isn't. I don't know. The only gauge I have is my own experience.

I don't know how many of you remember the epic series of articles written in the Fish Rap by Aaron Cress, detailing his experiences as an American Jewish tourist trying to score some weed all across the Holy Land. His wasn't a unique story, of that I can be sure. Last year when I was in Jerusalem, multiple students in my dorm complex at the Hebrew University actually had marijuana plants growing on their window sills. Last month, accused Israeli drug-dealer Ze'ev Rosenstein was extradited to the US for dealing 700,000 ecstasy tablets.

So, four-twenty is coming up and I've always advocated the rights of individuals to smoke marijuana. But this four-twenty, make it count. If you're going to get high, so get high. But if you really want to get high, keep in mind that it's the last day of Passover. The Chabad Student Center will be offering a special seder called Moshiach's Feast. If you really want to get high, get high with Moshiach.


Blogger Mobius said...

what gave you the impression that is his uncle? that's not what he told me, when i interviewed him last year.

also--you may not be aware, but i've been at work on a book about jews and drugs for several years; and the issue is way more pervasive than you might imagine.

Mon Apr 17, 01:15:00 AM 2006  
Blogger G-D SQUAD said...

Mobius, wow, I'm seriously honored.

Well, as far as that being his uncle, on Necro's own website, in the photos section, all the photos with the beardless Jew who shoots up herione in the video say "Uncle Howie." And there are even family pictures of "Uncle Howie as a youth looking grand funked [sic] out." So, I thought it was his uncle, i.e., Necro's uncle, Howie...

As far as the rest of the post and how pervasive drug use is, I'm sure it's worse than I might imagine. I had actually hoped to make this post a little more substantial but ran out of time b/c of the chag and school and everything, so it ended up as the fluff piece that it is.

Trust me, the drug problem in Jerusalem among my peers was much worse than what I put in the post, but for the protection of those who I knew and the institutions I was involved with, I decided it's better not to go in-depth in a public forum.

Mon Apr 17, 01:40:00 AM 2006  

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