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Holy smoke! Israelites used weed in ancient rituals

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It’s highly likely that ancient Israelites got high on cannabis in religious rituals, say researchers who have found traces of the drug at a religious site in Israel.

Archaeologists made the dope discovery at the eighth-century Tel Arad pilgrimage site in the Negev desert, south of the occupied West Bank.

“The presence of cannabis at Arad testifies to the use of mind-altering substances as part of cultic rituals in Judah,” they said.

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Writing in a journal article published by Tel Aviv University’s Institute of Archaeology, they said the find was “the earliest evidence for the use of cannabis in the Ancient Near East”.

The kingdom of Judah lasted from around 940 to 586 BC and centered on Jerusalem.

It was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.

“It seems likely that cannabis was used at Arad as a deliberate psychoactive, to stimulate ecstasy as part of cultic ceremonies,” the researchers said.

The discovery has caused a buzz online in Israel, where 21st-century smokers use smartphones and encrypted messaging to order weed deliveries.

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Medical use of cannabis is allowed in the country but police frequently boast of drug busts.

The researchers said they were surprised by the discovery.

“Hallucinogenic substances are known from various neighboring cultures, but this is the first known evidence of hallucinogenic substance found in the Kingdom of Judah,” said the team, led by Eran Arie from Jerusalem’s Israel Museum.

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The team has called for further research to better understand the practice and its breadth.


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Ted Cruz mocked for tantrum about Gorsuch siding with Native American rights: ‘Way to channel Andrew Jackson’

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In a surprise move on Thursday, Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch sided with Native American rights, ruling that Oklahoma must honor a treaty granting tribal sovereignty over much of the eastern portion of the state.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took to Twitter to vent his outrage over the decision.

Neil Gorsuch & the four liberal Justices just gave away half of Oklahoma, literally.

Manhattan is next. https://t.co/Ic9gqqznJp

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2020 Election

Trump attacks: Only reason ‘they’ don’t want to let schools re-open is to hurt my re-election chances

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President Donald Trump appears to be attacking Democrats, or the large number of parents across the country who are afraid to send their children back to school in the fall over concerns students could contract the coronavirus and get sick or die, or spread it to their families, friends, and teachers.

"Politics," according to the President, is the only reason "they" don't want to allow their children to go back to school.

In a rambling address at the White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative, the President talked about "allowing those at lower risk such as young, and healthy – children in many cases the immune system is so powerful, so strong – but the young and the healthy to safely return to work and to school."

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COVID-19

California theme parks remain shut but hundreds flock to Disney shops

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Disney's California theme park reopening may have been thwarted by coronavirus, but hundreds lined up early Thursday to buy Mickey Mouse merchandise from an adjacent shopping plaza.

Downtown Disney District -- which borders the world-famous Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks near Los Angeles -- is the first part of the sprawling resort to reopen.

It threw open its shops and restaurants to eager fans after almost four months of coronavirus-mandated limbo.

"I've personally been here since 11 pm," one woman told local news network KTLA.

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