A California state petition to legalize marijuana for medical use has won support form an unusual source - the East Bay Council of Rabbis, a Reform grouping.
The rabbis unanimously endorsed an initiative by "Californians for Compassionate Use" which would allow patients or their caretakers to own or cultivate marijuana for medical treatment with a doctor's prescription.
The initiative does not condone using marijuana for any other purposes.
"We felt that there are people with serious term illnesses who, because of state law, can't get medicine helpful to them. That seems pretty intolerable," said Rabbi Eliezer Finkelman, the president of the rabbinical council, a union of 25 East Bay rabbis.
"I don't see this one as very controversial at all," added Rabbi Roberto Graetz, of Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, who voted for the board's marijuana message. "This measure was approved by the state legislature and [Governor Pete] Wilson vetoed it both time," he added.