Jesus was almost certainly a cannabis user and an early proponent of
the medicinal properties of the drug, according to a study of
scriptural texts published this month. The study suggests that Jesus
and his disciples used the drug to carry out miraculous healings.

The anointing oil used by Jesus and his disciples contained an
ingredient called kaneh-bosem which has since been identified as
cannabis extract, according to an article by Chris Bennett in the
drugs magazine, High Times, entitled Was Jesus a Stoner? The incense
used by Jesus in ceremonies also contained a cannabis extract,
suggests Mr Bennett, who quotes scholars to back his claims.

"There can be little doubt about a role for cannabis in Judaic
religion," Carl Ruck, professor of classical mythology at Boston
University said.

Referring to the existence of cannabis in anointing oils used in
ceremonies, he added: "Obviously the easy availability and
long-established tradition of cannabis in early Judaism... would
inevitably have included it in the [Christian] mixtures."

Mr Bennett suggests those anointed with the oils used by Jesus were
"literally drenched in this potent mixture... Although most modern
people choose to smoke or eat pot, when its active ingredients are
transferred into an oil-based carrier, it can also be absorbed through
the skin".

Quoting the New Testament, Mr Bennett argues that Jesus anointed his
disciples with the oil and encouraged them to do the same with other
followers. This could have been responsible for healing eye and skin
diseases referred to in the Gospels.

"If cannabis was one of the main ingredients of the ancient anointing
oil... and receiving this oil is what made Jesus the Christ and his
followers Christians, then persecuting those who use cannabis could be
considered anti-Christ," Mr Bennett concludes.

Pubdate: Mon, 06 Jan 2003
Source: Guardian, The (UK)
Copyright: 2003 Guardian Newspapers Limited