Category Archives: Rastafari

Marijuana Rules changing? Great for Rasta Community and World

 

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What will the decriminalization of marijuana mean for Jamaica’s Rastafarians?

Marijuana and Loud Music Full Joy

weed-party-in-canada

 

KINGSTON, Jamaica—Attend any outdoor sound system party in Kingston and you are guaranteed to experience at least two things: loud, bass-thumping reggae and dancehall blasting from a gigantic stack of speakers, and clouds of marijuana smoke rising over the crowd. Like peanuts at a baseball game, the two go hand-in-hand, and it’s been that way for almost five decades.

Jamaica Sells Herb at its Events – We should too.

While not everyone at the party is smoking, marijuana is usually easy to come by if you’re looking. Just stop one of the vendors who will be periodically walking through the crowd with 12-inch stalks, selling buds from the dried plant for $100 Jamaican dollars ($1).

Strict Marijuana laws of past

An estimated 37,000 acres of marijuana grow across the island of Jamaica, but perhaps surprisingly to Bob Marley–worshipping foreigners, selling and using marijuana here has been against the law for the past 67 years. Until very recently, being caught with any amount of marijuana could lead to arrest and up to five years of jail time and a hefty fine up to J$15,000 (roughly $1,500). Those with marijuana convictions can also have a hard time finding work or obtaining visas to travel abroad. The strict illegality of cannabis in a country where the plant grows wild has long been a controversial sore spot between the Jamaican government, the Constabulary Force (the island’s police organization), and many of the country’s citizens—particularly Rastafarians.

But now…persons can  grow marijuana on designated lands, maximum amount.

jamaican marijuana

But now, Jamaica’s government, which has long had a fraught relationship with the ganja-smoking Rastas, is slowly embracing the plant’s use. A new amendment to Jamaica’s Dangerous Drugs Act, which was passed Feb. 6, Marley’s birthday, makes any possession under 2 ounces only a ticketed offense and allows any Rastafarian person to grow marijuana on designated lands. The amendment also permits the use of ganja for religious, medical, and scientific purposes. Smoking ganja is still prohibited in public places.

Rastafarians have welcomed the amendment, albeit with deep-rooted wariness.

“Give thanks for the decriminalization of herbs because we Rasta man go through a lot of struggle over it,” says Ras Ayatollah, sitting in the garden of the well-hidden restaurant of Ibo Spice on Orange Street in downtown Kingston that serves up a strictly vegetarian menu that Rastas called “ital.”

A Rastafarian elder at the Scotts Pass Nyabinghi Center in Clarendon, about a 40-minute drive outside of Kingston, Ayatollah grew up a fisherman in the Kingston shanty community of Hannah Town. According to Ayatollah, he got his name after hearing a radio report that the Iranian Ayatollah had declared he would stop “wickedness and earthquakes.”

How Marijuana came to Jamaica

Marijuana first arrived in Jamaica with indentured workers from India (who called the plant “ganja,” the Bengali word for hemp and a term still widely used across the island) in the 19th century. The use of cannabis grew in popularity along with the rise of the radical, Afro-centric spiritual movement Rastafarianism in the 1930s. The movement, which originates in Jamaica, has roots in Abrahamic religious tradition but identifies former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie as a Jesus-like figure who represented God on Earth.

Herb and King Solomon

Followers of Rastafari see Zion (often identified as Ethiopia) as a promised land they’ve been forcefully taken away from by Babylon—which encompasses what they see as a wide-breadth of corrupt Anglo-Western values such materialism and greed. Cannabis, which Rastafarians often they refer to as “herb,” is a holy plant to believers, according to their interpretation of certain passages in the Old Testament. Many Rastas believe the plant grew on the grave of King Solomon.

When Rastaman smoke herb….causes unwanted attentionbob marley2

The hardline approach that the Jamaican government has taken toward ganja use and cultivation has naturally resulted in a long and strained relationship with Rastafarians. But the complexities run deeper than just ganja use. Like many elder Rastafarians, Ayatollah has endured decades of stigmatization by many Jamaicans and, in particular, the local police. Over the years, this has often played out in violence and aggravation.

One often-cited clash is the Coral Gardens incident, which took place in 1963. A number of Rastafarians took to the local police station near Montego Bay to protest police harassment over their presence near resort hotels. The situation turned violent, and eight Rastafarians were killed. The incident is still remembered each year on its anniversary by Rastafarians, who refer to it as “Bad Friday.”

Blog Posts to Check out on Jamaican Love

how to speak jamaican

  1. How to Cook Jamaican Patty from scratch
  2. How to Keep a Jamaican Woman Happy for real
  3. How to make Jamaican style Potato Salad at home
  4. How to get a Jamaican Girl to Marry You (you will enjoy reading this)
  5. 8 tips to kiss a Jamaican man or woman
  6. How to cook Hot Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge for Breakfast or Dinner
  7. How to cook for a Jamaican man some advice to make him happy
  8. Jamaican Language Translations for beginners

Rastafari and Tivoli Gardens

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Clinton Hutton, lecturer at University of the West Indies
Another famous incident in post-independence Jamaica revolves around the destruction of a downtown Rastafarian community that was called Back O’Wall in 1965. The area was a center for pan-Africanism and early Rastafarians; Marley lived here when he was young. After being branded by politicians as a slum and a center for violence, it was leveled by bulldozers and rifle-armed police officers. The area was replaced by low-income housing and renamed Tivoli Gardens, but it remained a hotspot for violence, epitomized by the government’s armed capture of Tivoli Gardens’ famed drug lord Christopher Coke in 2010, which resulted in more than 50 deaths, many of whom were unarmed residents.

“The real issue that many of us in the Rastafari community have is if we are going to have a stake in the commercial industry,” Barnett says. “The commercial motivation by the government is quit obvious. But what regard is being paid to Rastafari? Shouldn’t Rastafari be a part of any economic benefits that are to be incurred in this initiative?”

“Marley Natural” Marijuana?

Marley-Natural

To be sure, there is money to be made from legal ganja. The new law opens the door for the creation of licenses for allowing the development of a medicinal and commercial ganja industry—something toward which the powerful and business-savvy Marley estate has already taken steps, creating its own strain of the plant called “Marley Natural” this past November.

Tourists the real beneficiaries of new Gangja Laws

The new law can only benefit tourism, Jamaica’s biggest revenue-generator. More than 2 million people visited Jamaica last year, many in search of sun, music, and marijuana in resort towns such as Negril. It’s also here where rogue “ganja tours” are already attractions that authorities have largely turned a blind eye to, despite their illegality, possibly in fear of scaring away visitors.

“The investment opportunities from legalizing ganja are huge,” argued Delano Seiveright, director of the lobby group Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce, at last year’s Investments and Capital Markets Conference in Jamaica. “The more obvious relate to the impact on our agriculture, tourism, and financial sectors.”

Upon passing the reform, Justice Minister Mark Golding echoed these sentiments, saying, “We need to position ourselves to take advantage of the significant economic opportunities offered by this emerging industry.”

Barnett doesn’t see why Rastafarians can’t also take advantage of these benefits.

Rasta have always promoted herb….

rasta

“Rastafari should be able to make a living out of something they’ve long promoted and championed,” explains Barnett. “What may happen, and I hope it doesn’t, is that Rastafari will have no real part, or real input, in the commercial aspect of the herb industry.”

Barnett’s colleague Clinton Hutton, a lecturer in political philosophy and culture at University of the West Indies, has similar concerns. Speaking in his office surrounded by portraits he’s taken over the years of Jamaica’s Rastafarians, Clinton is pragmatic.

“I don’t think that we Rastas can say, ‘We have done all of these things, and therefore there’s automatic right.’ For me, they should have that right. But some rest of society and especially certain people in business, they will box that idea right out of our mouths, as we say in Jamaica,” he said.

Groups such as the Ganja Law Reform Coalition, the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association, and the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce have been the driving forces over the past few years in pushing for ganja reform on the island. However, none of these groups has seriously taken up the issue of financial reparations or inclusion for Rastafarians. The various branches of the Rastafarian communities have also been slow to act. Having historically avoided political involvement, no significant political or social group has developed from the various branches of their community.

But how the new law will financially benefit Rastafarians is not the only concern.

Government to decide who is Rasta?????

While the new law does recognize Rastafarians use of the plant in holy ceremonies and makes steps to allow these practices to go unprosecuted, this brings up another question that has existential consequences to Barnett: “There is something problematic in allowing the government to now determine who is Rasta,” he said. “It’s a whole can of worms in itself.”

How exactly this will play out legally is still to be seen. The Jamaican government has determined that the Cannabis Licensing Authority will be the regulatory body helping establish the lawful industry. However, National Security Minister Peter Bunting has acknowledged in a speech to Parliament this past February that the new law would take some time to implement.

Maybe everybody will be Rasta now….

Hutton calls the government making decisions on who is Rastafarian foolish. “Maybe everyone will become Rasta now,” he says with a laugh.

Yet, it’s these kinds of unanswered issues that Hutton believes make it all the more imperative for Rastafarians to be active and vocal about the implementation of the law.

Equal Rights and Justice for All….

“This is an issue that Rastas have died for,” Hutton explains with a sudden seriousness. “This is an issue many have gone to prison for, that they have been victimized for, that they have been shut out of school and jobs for. Everything should be done to understand that. This issue is one of rights and justice. Not just in Jamaica but globally.”

10 Best Jamaican food recipes Hands Down

Oxtail-Butter-Beans

 

 

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10 Best Jamaican Food Dishes: Hands Down!

Best & Popular Jamaican Food Dishes

How to Cook Rice and Peas –  How to Cook Jamaican Curried Shrimp – 10 Things Jamaican men like in a woman – 10 Rules for dating a Jamaican man – 10 Things Jamaicans Love! – How to Cook Jamaican Breakfast “Run Down” –  Jamaican Beef Patty Recipe

best jamaican foodI don’t eat meat. But, I still remember the flavors of some of the food dishes my Grandmother and Mother would cook for me. Before I became a Rastafari I would visit some of the Jamaican food Restaurants, so I am pretty confident I know my stuff. Plus, Jamaican food is so vast, you can be vegetarian and still enjoy flavorful Jamaican food without the meat.

  1. Jamaican Curry Goat – This Jamaican food dish is so popular and so good. Mostly men request it at Jamaican food restaurants. Before I became vegan, this was my favorite Jamaican food dish.
  2. Jamaican Jerk Chicken – Jamaican Jerk Chick is probably one of our top 2 dishes we are world Renowned for. Its spice, hot, and tastes really good. You can buy the Jerk Sauce at the supermarket and cook it at home. I did this once, I put way too much Jerk Sauce.
  3. Jamaican Jerk Pork – I think this food dish is a favorite of20130715-jerk-chicken-final-food-lab-38many people (non Rastafari) Before I became a Rastafari I loved to eat me some Jerk Pork. Try it if you get a chance. Tasty. I am remembering form over 10 years ago.
  4. Ackee and Salt Fish – This is known as Jamaica’s “International” dish. Ackee and Saltfish is eaten, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
  5. Jamaican Run Down – Jamaican Run down. Jamaican run down is so commonly cooked in Jamaican culture that its often overlooked. Jamaican run down is a breakfast that is made with salt fish tomato, black pepper, oil, scallion. It tastes salty and we cook it with some plain dumplings on the side. Makes a great breakfast, or snack. Sometimes we eat it for dinner too.
  6. Jamaican Oxtail – Ok I have a confession. Out of all the flavors of Oxtail-Butter-Beanseach individual Jamaican food, Jamican oxtail has the best flavors. Don’t ask me what they cook it with I do not know off the top of my head….but you should cook this at home. You will be blown away by the way it tastes. Trust me.
  7. Jamaican Fried Fish – Jamaican fried fish. Just thinking about makes me want to go back to Jamaica. Jamaican fried fish is a food you eat when you want some healthy comfort food if that makes sense. Jamaicans will often request fried fish is they are tired of eating Chicken or if they are vegetarian but still don’t mind eating fish. (like me)
  8. Jamaican stew Chicken – This is still my favorite Jamaican food dish. I am not crazy about eating Chicken anymore. I seek it out about once a month. The taste of Jamaican stew Chicken is one your palette will never forget.
  9. Chicken Foot Soup – Chicken foot Soup. Chicken foot soup tastes jamaican chicken foot soupgreat when you are in the mood for it. Sometimes if you are not feeling well, or feel like you wan to eat something full of nutrients Jamaican foot soup might be the answer. Jamaican people cook it so good and it doesnt cost a lot of money to make.
  10. Jamaican Curry Chicken – Jamaican curry chicken is delicious so many people admire Jamaica for this dish. Jamaican Curry chicken is another meal that some people think every Jamaican eats. Well I take that as a compliment.

More Ital Rasta Food Diet Recipes

  1. How to cook Ital Rasta Curried Carrot Soup
  2. How to Cook Jamaican Style Cabbage
  3. How to cook Caribbean Saute Okra
  4. How to cook Jamaican Style Rice and Peas

Want to learn how to cook Jamaican food?
Don’t forget to visit my Jamaican Rastafari Blog too.

 

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7 steps to start an online business

How I started Blogging Online

  1. choose a topic you are passionate about – this will propel the bob marleysuccess of your business especially on those days when you don’t feel like working. I chose Rastafari and Jamaican culture because I know a lot about them, and I love talking about and blogging about Jamaican and Rastafari Culture.
  2. start a free blog about it –  start a blog on wordpress.com and never leave it. WordPress.com blogs get a heap of traffic. I had a free blog on Rastafari before, but I got rid of it. I now have another blog called “jamaican love blog” on wordpress .com, It gets good traffic and I am really proud of it.
  3. start a paid blog – this is where you go to wordpress.org and set up a paid blog. wordpress.org has all the stuff a newbie needs to set up a professional self hosted blog. (More info on the next step how to do it)
  4. buy some hosting for your paid blog – I use bluehost. bluehost.com are the Rastafarian_woman_puruleaders in inexpensive quality webhosting for beginners. You can reach them 24/7. To answer all your questions about tech support and creating your first self hosted blog. Through bluehost you will set up and create your self hosted blog with your own domain name…like jamaicanlove.org or jamaicanrastafarianlove.com Go to wordpress.com and buy your domain name…then you will be all set to get a self hosted blog where you can start selling ebooks, handmade earrings, knitted scarfs, picture frames, recipes whatever you like.
  5. start driving traffic from your free blog to your paid blog – Your paid blog is where you will sell your products, eBooks, whatever you want to sell to make money because we are not allowed to sell stuff, on the WordPress.com free blog. Just their rules. So just drive the traffic there for buying.
  6. build even more traffic! – advertising (newspapers) YouTube, more blogging are some great options for getting more traffic to your paid blog. It really depends what you are blogging about, and what you are selling. Some subjects (like Rastafari ) are pretty much web only. Whereas other topics (subconscious mind training) are pretty much anywhere and everywhere. You will have to decide.
  7. 51v1uTgZojL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_Keep blogging – With time you will be known among  the community your blog is in. People will expect you to produce “new works. ” Which is great because they will already be your customers. I now have more than 3 blogs, jamaicanrastafarianlove.com jamaicanlove.org and jamaicanloveblog.wordpress.com those are my main ones for Caribbean culture. You can also check out my work in progress subconscious-mind-training.com

If you want to write and sell books like I do. I recommend starting your blog and starting to write your first book all at the same time. That’s what I did. Then everything just snowballed on its own. Remember, choose the topic you are most passionate about, but think about all the monetization options before you begin so that you don’t get stuck and are aware of types of products you will be creating for you customers starting now.

 

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Im in Jamaica….

jamaicans love jamaicasorry I haven’t blogged I’m in Jamaica. I have videos to post. I have been having the time of my life. I have been to Montego bay, Negril and Westmoreland. I cant wait to share footage with you. I have to get more of Montego bay though because I find it to be the most beautiful. I didn’t expect to be using the internet right now. But I thought I would post something short. So much love. So, they say Jamaica is expensive….that is a load of crock. I plan to do a post or a short video blog about it……Give Thanks.

Bless.

7 Tips for becoming a new Rasta



  1. Stay open-minded – As a new Rastafari, it is important to bob-marleystay open-minded. There are many people, books, and much history to learn from. Never assume you “know all there is to know” about Rastafari…this is the point where you may stop learning.
  2. Rastafari is not a religion – Never Refer to Rastafari as a Religion. Rasta refers to Rastafari as “a faith” “a Livity ” a meditation” “a spirituality” “a way of Life” but never a Religion. Religion is of man, Rastafari comes from Jah.
  3. Accept your self as Growing –  Rastafari is something you will embrace your whole life. The more you love Jah, and his creations, the more his heart grows in yours. Know that to “grow” as a Rasta, is a beautiful process. accept it, embrace it,  and enjoy it…continuously.
  4. Love Jah! – Just love Jah and all things will fall into place through him. Jah is love!
  5. Love The African Image African woman, African man, rasta empressAfrican child, are all beauties of Rastafari.  Rasta knows the first man and woman were created in Ethiopia Africa. We see beauty in the image of the African human.
  6. Listen to “Rastafari Reggae Music” –  Rastafari only listen to Rastafari Reggae music. Why? We know this music is clean…and…we can here the word of Jah in this music.  You too should listen to “Jah” music.


  7. Know you are being Tested!

    – As soon as you embrace the Rastafari Livity you notice yourself being “tested”…left, right and center. It’s just that Satan  is “vex” because you have chosen to live in truth and walk in the light of Jah. its normal, keep trodding on the high rod. Jah is there. Check out my blog post on traditional Jamaican Foods.

Love & Blessings to All. King Selassie I.