For Berkeley Jews, Medical Cannabis Is Ethical Imperative

CALIFORNIA: If you want to traffic in stereotypes, Elie Green, Ramona Rubin and Daniel Kosmal — the founders of Doc Green’s, which makes healing cannabis ointments and lotions — look pretty much like what you might imagine when you hear, “Berkeley-based medical marijuana collective.”

That is, of course, until they open their mouths and tell you they’re observant Jews.

“It’s been interesting dealing with [appearances at] weekend festivals,” says Rubin, 36, over an almond milk latte at a Berkeley café. “Being shomer Shabbos, it means just working on Friday and Sunday … it’s a constant balance between serving our own religious needs, doing keruv [outreach], telling people about what we’re doing with cannabis and how it could help them.”

The company’s co-founders, who have been producing lotion made from marijuana plants grown in Northern California and selling the product online and through dispensaries for more than four years, say the average customer is an older person who suffers from chronic pain such as sciatica.

The company’s co-founders, who have been producing lotion made from marijuana plants grown in Northern California and selling the product online and through dispensaries for more than four years, say the average customer is an older person who suffers from chronic pain such as sciatica.

“Maybe [consumable] cannabis isn’t for everybody, because there are psychoactive effects that not everybody wants to experience,” says Kosmal, 40. “But topical cannabis really is for everybody. There are no psychoactive effects. It’s just for pain relief. And everybody gets bumps and sore muscles and aches and pains.”

“You don’t have to get high to be a cannabis user,” echoes Green.

Green, the company’s 35-year-old namesake, is the son of a retired Orthodox rabbi — Rabbi Simcha Green, who lives in Berkeley and has, alongside his wife, Margie, taken on the role of company spokesperson. The couple, who are in their 70s, help with presentations about Doc Green’s at conferences; earlier this year the rabbi spoke at the Rossmoor retirement community in Walnut Creek at an event that also featured former state Assembly speaker Willie Brown. After that talk, the younger Green says he was “bombarded by grandmas basically throwing money at me, going ‘If this stuff works…’ ”

Read full article @ JWeekly.com