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Saturday, 4 Adar, 5780
  |  February 29, 2020

It’s Not Your Father’s Weed

Pittsburgh Psychotherapist Pinny Herman responds to comments on COLlive.com about marijuana use in frum Jewish circles. Full Story

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Thank For Posting
Guest
Thank For Posting

I will steer clear from marijuana.
I Want one bourbon, one scotch, one beer.

thank you
Guest
thank you

very well written, and very clearly explained.
thank you for taking the time to clarify this topic , and making it easy to understand.

wow thank you
Guest
wow thank you

may we all come to our senses imm geula

This article should be read and discussed in Schools
Guest
This article should be read and discussed in Schools

Thank you for your excellent, informative article. This should be the topic at the next farbreingen – it is NOT chassidish to drink or do drugs. It should also be required reading in the girls’ schools.

weed is great
Guest
weed is great

high five for the California legalization

Thank you
Guest
Thank you

Thank you for a clear, articulate and helpful article. I hope people of all ages will read it and take it to heart.

Thank you so much Dr Herman
Guest
Thank you so much Dr Herman

This is something we all need to hear

They ignore the long term brain damage.
Guest
They ignore the long term brain damage.

and saying something that is not as bad as something else, makes it good, is a phony claim and a logical fallacy.

Well said
Guest
Well said

Thank you for taking the time to explain

A Pittsburgher does it again!
Guest
A Pittsburgher does it again!

Pittsburghers are very sound people.

Thanks
Guest
Thanks

Very well written. I hope this will make a positive impact and help our kids stay clean

As someone who smoked regularly before getting married
Guest
As someone who smoked regularly before getting married

I can say this is quite true. I am in my late 20s, so I can’t speak to the increase in strength, although that is something I had read before as well. However, this idea that weed is not addictive is just silly. People develop a “comfortable place” that weed takes them to. It seems very nice at first, but one day you realize that you’re not even enjoying it that much anymore, being high has just become your natural state, your comfortable place where you don’t have to think too much or confront things. Eventually people smoke even when… Read more »

Well said
Guest
Well said

Thank you for posting this.

Biological sciences?
Guest
Biological sciences?

Unfortunately Doctor Herman does not have the requisite schooling to assert his opinion here. As has been the case in previous articles, there are no citations given. Additionally it seems the doctor has a tenuous grasp of statistical analysis and quantitative reasoning in general. To make these claims, it would be wise to have some background in bio-chem, neuroscience, and pharmacology – more than just an undergraduate background. Can doctor Rosen, a qualified MEDICAL professional give some advice.

Let's talk studies
Guest
Let's talk studies

Here’s what we do know: According to many studies, the lifetime risk of dependence—defined as a desire to use increasing amounts of a substance and suffering withdrawal symptoms if you don’t—is lower for marijuana than it is for most other drugs, including alcohol. Of all the people who smoke pot, in other words, about 9 percent will become dependent. But of all the people who drink, about 16 percent will become alcoholics. So to say alcohol use is less of a problem then using pot is a specious argument. It is also clear that while marijuana impairs individuals, it does… Read more »

Thanks! One more point...
Guest
Thanks! One more point...

Thank you for the article. I want to say that of my many peers who use marijuana, I don’t think any of them are the same as they were before they started using, unfortunately for the worse. They are less focused, less sharp, and in a worse environment than they were before they started. So to the many lubavitchers who use it, you can use all the arguments on the world, it changes you. And usually for the worse. Also as a lubavitcher, we have the Lubavitcher Rebbe, from whom we derive a path of life. The Rebbe wasn’t pro*,… Read more »

Informative
Guest
Informative

Thanks for this clear understanding.

Great article
Guest
Great article

Very clear and very informative. Thank you

Sorry, not convinced
Guest
Sorry, not convinced

Thank you for taking the time to write this. I think the fundamental issue with this article is the word ‘weed’ could be replaced with ‘sugar’, and virtually every word would still stand. Yes, persistent marijuana consumption, much like persistent sugar consumption, is worse for you than an occasional l’chaim. Additionally, your half-hearted comparison to alcohol is disingenuous. A) Why not include some statistics backing up your theory that weed has a higher abuse rate than alcohol? You even acknowledge that alcohol is both physically and psychologically addictive, while weed is only psychologically addictive. Also, why not include the fact… Read more »

Haim
Guest
Haim

We need to teach the young how to use it everything is ok if it’s done DEREH HAMITSUA

thank you
Guest
thank you

Thank you for your educated, clear and responsible message.
Kol hamekayim nefesh achas…
much appreciated

finally, some sanity
Guest
finally, some sanity

very clear and to the point… and i’m sure ppl will still try to argue… but anybody being honest will get it.

good article
Guest
good article

Thanks for clarifying.
I know it is a dangerous drug, but now i can explain it

Yossi.
Guest
Yossi.

Thanks for such an informative post…….
Let’s hope that those who should read it will.

Very well written
Guest
Very well written

Extrememly well written piece on a very important topic. My sister used to smoke weed and became dependent on it to “cope” with life. After a while (with help from ppl close to her) she realized that using marijuana as a crutch to help her “deal” with life wasn’t solving or doing anything in her life. It was hard, but with support from family and ppl around her, she stopped cold turkey. She went to therapy to help her learn how to emotionally deal with life in a healthy way with a healthy mindset. Bh now a few years later,… Read more »

References
Guest
References

I agree articles like this should not be published without references. Although a PhD in Psychology includes basic neuroscience and statistical reasoning, as well as copious years of research and education, we still need to see where this data was pulled from.

14/19 same person
Guest
14/19 same person

Know it all.

Political claptrap
Guest
Political claptrap

The “gateway drug” argument is dishonest, and marks the rest of the article as equally dishonest. The overwhelming majority of people in treatment for addiction to heroin and cocaine began with using cigarettes. And 100% of those people began with using milk and orange juice. Shall we call those “gateway drugs” too?

to #19
Guest
to #19

lol at the sugar comment. Sugar is very harmful for us truthfully, and most people are ‘addicted’!!! But marijuana is brain-altering, that is why ppl use it! and all the ppl i know who started using it ‘a little’ ended up using it quite a lot. several are potheads. and their lives are diminished. they don’t hold regular jobs, they get to the point that they don’t grow up and they are like permanent (dumb) adolescents. it dumbed them down. and also it may not lead many to harder drugs, but all hard drug users started with weed. Are you… Read more »

9% is too high
Guest
9% is too high

“Of all the people who smoke pot, in other words, about 9 percent will become dependent.”

Even that figure is exaggerated. One measure of dependence is that a person spends a lot of time trying to get it. Of course the fact that it’s illegal makes it more difficult to get and that’s why for some people it takes longer. Make it available everywhere cigarettes are sold and that 9% figure will drop.

to #14
Guest
to #14

You do not need to attack the writer to discredit him. People do not always have to be mavens in one field in order to understand simple studies and statistics. He was not referencing complex medical works on the physiological and long-term effects of marijuana. You have a problem with what he says? That is ok too. but don’t attack the good man publicly. he is only trying to help many vulnerable youth who are completely uninformed and get their info off of teens on the street. Yes there are people who smoke and function. there are also people who… Read more »

amotivational syndrome
Guest
amotivational syndrome

There is no clear evidence that marijuana use causes “amotivational syndrome”. About 5% of people have low motivation, but they’re not significantly likelier to use marijuana than the other 95%. Meanwhile many famous highly-motivated scientists, artists, business people, are potheads.

Yes, your father's, or even your grandfather's
Guest
Yes, your father's, or even your grandfather's
A Weed Smoker
Guest
A Weed Smoker

I am pro marijuana for people who use it responsibly.

This guy wrote a solid article, we need more Lubavitchers with a PHD. Or atleast authors writing should have some factual knowledge not just emotion and old school thinking.

Thanks for bringing some insight.

  "Self Defense Studio CH"
Guest
"Self Defense Studio CH"
References? Sources?
Guest
References? Sources?

There are lots of facts being quoted without references. Please start adding them to the articles as that adds legitimacy…

Sugar?
Guest
Sugar?

Let’s all relax about sugar….yes it’s addictive and unhealthy but let’s not blow it out of proportion

Weed Culture
Guest
Weed Culture

For frum Jews, another issue with marijuana is the culture that comes along with it. Weed has an entire culture that overtime has evolved with its own language, humor, etiquette, art, literature, music, movies, etc. Entire movements whose lifestyle runs counter to frumkeit, especially chassidishkeit, have revolved around marijuana usage: the beatniks, hipsters (the originals in the 1940s), and hippies. Many who smoke up regularly or even occasionally, become involved to some extent with cannabis culture. Hence, one sees in a comment above (as well as in comments in previous similar articles) mention of one’s friends being “different” after using.… Read more »

Moishe Feiglin
Guest
Moishe Feiglin

BH Weed won’t kill you, but it can ruin your life I’ve been working with young people for many years and have seen the devastation from weed. I understand that weed has many potential benefits including health benefits, but the side effects are enormous. I have never had a teenager tell me that he didn’t suffer substantial side effects from weed regardless of how much he enjoys it and benefits from it. I know a young man who was a normal teenager and went to regular local yeshivas. He started smoking weed at 14. Once he started weed his mind… Read more »

2 Questions for Dr. Herman
Guest
2 Questions for Dr. Herman

Thank you for taking the time to write and clear up some things. I am still curious though about what studies have actually said about the long term use of marijuana. Can you speak to that? Also, there are countries (Holland and soon Canada) that legalize marijuana. Would you know if that means those governments have oversight on the levels of THC in the legalized product? Thanks again.

@38
Guest
@38

First of all, how do you possibly know that? Yes, people that are active in “weed culture” (whatever the heck that is) probably use marijuana, but the users that aren’t part of any culture you don’t even know they’re smokers!

Second of all, if a weed culture exists it is because of the widespread stigma against using it. During prohibition I’m sure there was an alcohol culture, once use is legal and destigmatized that culture will be irrelevant.

To #15
Guest
To #15

You say in one paragraph:
“Of all the people who smoke pot, in other words, about 9 percent will become dependent. But of all the people who drink, about 16 percent will become alcoholics. ”

So what?
It is a a logical fallacy to say or to imply that weed, is good or even OK, automatically, just because it’s not “as bad” as alcohol.
By such ‘logic’ you should be promoting more drinking of alcohol, because it’s not “as bad” as committing suicide.

hmm
Guest
hmm

“…hideous psychic fallout they’d all endured both in active marijuana-dependency and then in marijuana-detox: the social isolation, anxious lassitude, and the hyperself-consciousness that then reinforced the withdrawal and anxiety – the increasing emotional abstraction, poverty of affect, and then total emotional catalepsy – the obsessive analyzing, finally the paralytic stasis that results from obsessive analysis of all possible implications of both getting up from the couch and not getting up from the couch…”

ANOTHER ISSUE
Guest
ANOTHER ISSUE

i live in Canada, and there is another issue that has been brought to light. The weed can be laced with cocaine, to make them addicted to the “weed”. You dont always know what your are getting. Parents talk to your kids about substance abuse. DO NOT wait for the schools or yeishovs to deal with it. Make sure your children can say “NO”. I have seen pushers approaching elementary school age children. Talk to your kids! It can be life saving.

#  43
Guest
# 43

The States have top biochemist advising them
Those who have legalized know what they are doing
As long as it was illegal the advice here before given applies
States overule that
Law is sacrosanct
As an aside. Young persons have constitutional rights and protections. Due Process etc. etc.
Scalia in discussing “persons” clearly excluded a fetus and included all persons small or large in the definition “persons”

Berel
Guest
Berel

No question the strangest of these comments were written very, very high

Everyone should please read comment  #39
Guest
Everyone should please read comment #39

R. Moshe Feiglen is a tzadik who has devoted his life to saving our children. His opinion is based on observing & interacting with actual “kids.” I understand that studies and books and degrees can be of real value, but nothing beats reality-based “on the ground” caring information & advice.

To #45
Guest
To #45

Torah law is sacrosanct. Even the liberals who put secular law above everything else in claiming that weed should be legalized in every state, do not believe in due process when it goes against their political agenda. For example, every single story with comments underneath the story, that is about someone being accused of ‘abusing animals’ has comments demanding that the accused be ‘beaten to death in the street, without a trial, and anyone who responds to such comments saying “what about due process’ or “innocent till proven guilty” is viciously attacked and labeled as “someone who supports abuse of… Read more »

#43...Its so true, but...source, please...
Guest
#43...Its so true, but...source, please...

#43 ..That post mentions the attitude/motivational/emotional effects so precisely, so clearly…But, where did he find that material? I want to explore it/quote it myself..in a letter to a family member who was harmed by ALL of those side effects mentioned in #43’s post. Hope to gosh this post is anonymous.

@45
Guest
@45

Dude, nice of you to reinforce Dr. Herman’s points. Real eloquent, too!

do drugs
Guest
do drugs

Daven
Ruchnius
Unity
Geulah
Shabbos

#  48
Guest
# 48

I am not American
But even I know that you are diametrically wrong; precedent
Supreme Court decisions are stare decisis
The constitution bestows on each American and there are those who argue any individual within the boundaries of USA
the benefit of the constitution
Unless it is proven that something is dangerous and then Torah law is supreme no discussion
Too intricate to go into here but just look into the famous discussion of
Rav Moshe versus Reb Yoelish, Satmar

Thank you Doctor!
Guest
Thank you Doctor!

This is brilliant. Thank you for speaking about this topic which is so so important in our communities. Thank you Doctor Herman.

Do you let your kids get drunk??
Guest
Do you let your kids get drunk??

Weed good or bad, why do we let our kids drink unlimited alcohol in Yeshiva? Why is it alright to get drunk every shabbos? Alcohol makes you do stupid things, from hitting, cheating etc. Alcohol makes you a bad person. Alcohol gets in the way of everything. Weed does not do any of this to you. Moshiach Now!

dope
Guest
dope

1. aspirin can be a gate way drug
2. highlighted in Torah & used >>..Knei Bosem ….
3. may have negative affects . like a ‘freak out ‘ or psychosis agree… but in general , not so
4. am in mid 60’s been using since 20 ??! all is good ..

Bottom line
Guest
Bottom line

We should all agree that adolescents should avoid cannabis and alcohol, and run higher risks with both. The idea of “Your father’s pot” is a silly cliché , Yes, on average cannabis had a lower THC percentage in the 60s and 70s then now (although there was some strong stuff around back then too) that just means that less needs to be consumed now for the desired affect, which is a good thing if it’s being smoked. No one wants to get too high or too drunk, and most people learn from their mistakes to moderate their consumption. In general… Read more »

The Rebbe was against marijuana
Guest
The Rebbe was against marijuana

not sure why there are lubavitchers who want to make the case for marijuana…then again the Rebbe also made the l’chaim takana and not everyone paid attention to that, either.

Agree With Rabbi Moishe Feiglin
Guest
Agree With Rabbi Moishe Feiglin

I have unfortunately seen the “negative” effects of marijuana. It “does” effect people more in their younger developmental stage of life. As we all know there are many medications to treat the same illness and some that can’t be given to children, why is that so? Drugs react differently to different people and at different stages of life.At times medication no longer have the same effect or you can be or become allergic to it requiring you to switch. So too with marijuana, it effects people differently. Also with it being more potent and unregulated you have know idea what… Read more »

Alcohol is way worse
Guest
Alcohol is way worse

I’m sorry, but the focus should be on alcohol and drugs that are actually killing people in our community– both youth and adults alike.

I agree that weed isn’t great either, but the justified alcohol and hard drug abuse in this community is out of hand. Open your eyes.

No one died from smoking too much weed, but drug/alcohol withdrawal and overdose, liver disease, and and DUI’s have killed many.

Sorry
Guest
Sorry

I’m sorry but all these articles and especially all the comments going up on COLlive about weed and drugs are just going to make a teenager (or anyone) curious about the drugs, and may want to try it just once! Just curious about the feeling it would give them!

Here's my advice:
Guest
Here's my advice:

Ignore well written articles, just because you don’t agree with them. Keep smoking marijuana and any other substance you wish to indulge in. Destroy your brain, keep smoking and the rest of us who keep our brains clear of this garbage will outpace you and be more successful in every arena of our lives. So, don’t listen, keep smoking, shrink your brain, and give yourself emotional problems. Its good for the competition, because it makes the rest of us who dont indulge have the opportunities that you are frittering away. L’chaim ulivracha. PS There is a reason that dope is… Read more »

One major distinction
Guest
One major distinction

A Yid customarily uses schnapps to make a l’chaim & to give a Brocha; not necessarily to get shicker.

In contrast, one smokes pot only for the purpose of getting high. Let’s face the facts.

Masha Donat, RPAC
Guest
Masha Donat, RPAC

As someone who no longer lives in Crown Heights but born and raised there, I am appalled. To all those drug abusers who commented here and try to justify themselves by trying to discredit Doctor Herman SHAME ON YOU. Admit YOU have a problem, and get help! Don’t drag others into the mud with you. After reading the comments of this article I’m no longer confident about sending my children to Crown Heights for school. Seems like there are too many vultures waiting to pounce upon new meat SHAME ON YOU! At least in our community the drug users and… Read more »

Well... no.
Guest
Well... no.

First, it’s more potent because it’s illegal. Just like when alcohol was illegal, people didn’t risk breaking the law to have a coors light.

Legalize it and regulate it. Regulate the potency.

Second, Marijuna is not the gateway, alcohol is, people who smoke weed and abuse cocaine etc started with alcohol, why ignore that?

Thirdly and MOST important. All arguments aside. This is a MEDICAL issue. If your child used marijuana. Would you like the kind NYPD officers arresting him and put him in jail with violent offenders?

Or would you like to get him help with medical professionals?

I’m anti-weed, and pro-legalizing it.

Excellent Article
Guest
Excellent Article

B”H Here’s the information I give when the subject of marijuana comes up: Included in the wondrous bio-chemistry that HaShem created in our brains are a set of chemicals called “endogenous cannabinoids” that help control and regulate, among other things, the sense of pleasure and feeling good and at ease. Marijuana’s THC molecular form is similar to the above and thus the reason it is able to UNNATURALLY produce a similar effect. Smoking or eating marijuana, however, overstimulates and disrupts our bio-chemistry’s NATURAL balance causing INTOXICATION and overtime makes it harder for that balance to spring back, creating dependency as… Read more »

#62
Guest
#62

I have seen to may l chaims where one drink is never enough, and the same with Kiddush, and Brochos a lot of Yidden don’t know when they had enough and especially on Succos and Simchas Torah

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