Bob Marley, marijuana and Jamaica are almost always intertwined in the minds of fans of the dead reggae singer. Oddly enough, even though both religious and recreational marijuana smoking have been common in the Caribbean island for many years, the government has officially outlawed cannabis for a century. But now, Jamaica’s marijuana legalization bill may upend the years of prohibition.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, Mississippi’s marijuana legalization efforts is promising to create a ballot that would legalize recreational pot and even allow for homegrown weed farms. If Alaska’s marijuana legalization bill passes, then Snoop Dog is promising to rock the northern state with a concert.
Jamaican Justice Minister Mark Golding says they have drafted legislation for decriminalizing marijuana and it’s expected to make possession of 2 ounces or less a petty offense before the end of 2014. Bob Marley would also be happy to hear that members of the Rastafarian religion will be able to ritually smoke marijuana without fear of arrest by the end of 2014.
This aspect of the bill would be very important to Bob Marley based upon how he viewed the usage of cannabis.
“Bob Marley did not use cannabis recreationally, and did not see its use as a casual matter. He viewed marijuana as a holy rite, much as Catholics view Holy Communion or some Native Americans view ceremonial usage of peyote. Viewing himself as a holy person (as do all Rastafarians), Marley strongly believed that marijuana opened up a spiritual door which allowed him to become the artist and poet he was.”
Still, Golding admits that Jamaica’s Dangerous Drugs Act will need to be modified more in order to create business interest in medical marijuana and other scientific research on cannabis. They also want to ensure that the ganja business sector will not be limited to big business only like in the United States. In the long term, it’s hoped that Jamaica’s marijuana legalization will create a regulatory framework that will ensure small size pot farmers “are not excluded and it does not just become something exclusively for major capital-intensive investors.”