Mention Israel to a Cannabis advocate, and they will think of a treasure trove of key research related to the plant: the discovery of THC, the discovery of Anandamide, and work that revealed the cannabinoid receptors in the human body… not to mention decades of research that includes more clinical trials than anywhere else in the world. Much of this came through serendipity, starting when the young Dr. Rafael Mechoulam was looking for a research project, and he thought it was curious that no one really knew what the active principles in Cannabis were. From there, decades later, we see medicines being developed to treat a wide variety of illnesses.
Tied into this theoretical and academic work is a movement that uses the name of Tikun Olam. While there are many meanings and shades of meaning for Tikun Olam, I personally interpret it as a humanitarian drive, as a need to care about society and be involved in helping our fellow human beings… this is one critical thing required for spiritual development, according to those who have written and reflected on these teachings.
The International Jewish Cannabis Association is a group that is aligned with the ideas of Tikun Olam. I met Ben Temer (the groups founder) a few months ago in South Florida. He is a dynamic person who is working to educate people about the benefits of the Cannabis plant. He has said “Our goal is to assure that cannabis history is remembered, and connected to the Jewish idea of Tikun Olam (elevating the world to its supreme form). If we will not define our presence, who will?”
Indeed, if we do not do it, who will? We must work for humanity within our own communities, and we must link up the different communities so that they work together. Whether one is Jewish or not, we can all recognize the divine nature of life and the value of service to fellow humans. I see this happening in many areas, and am glad to call attention to it. I am recognizing Ben and the IJCA as the first in a series of posts I am calling “Florida Top Shelf” to recognize individual leaders and game-changing companies in the Sunshine State
The ICJA website is at https://www.theijca.org/, and they also have a Facebook page.