By Oswald T. Brown
When I covered Jamaica’s independence in August of 1962 for The Tribune, I did a feature article on the Rastafarians and their lifestyle. To get interviews, a Jamaican journalistic colleague arranged for me to visit a Rastafarian camp off Foreshore Road. I got there around dinner time and was invited to have dinner with a group of them. We sat in a circle and ate from a large bowl at the centre of the circle, and after we finished eating, they passed around a marijuana “joint” the size of a large cigar.
When I took a puff, I almost choked to death, and my host repeatedly slapped me on the back while saying, “Ma bradda, you no have to partake, this our ritual.” That was my one and only experience with marijuana, but I have friends who were regular users while we were growing up in Nassau and, with very few exceptions, they are all law-abiding and responsible adults, some of whom are very successful in their chosen professions.
Whether or not they still occasionally or regularly indulge in the habit, I do not know, but now that the possibility of marijuana being legalized for medicinal purposes and for the decriminalization of small amounts for personal use is being debated in The Bahamas, as a journalist whose points of view on various issues in the past were expressed in editorials -- when I was Editor of the Nassau Guardian and the Freeport News, at different times – and in my personal column OSWALD BROWN WRITES, I thought that I should weigh in on the issue. Read more >>