Friday, July 13, 2018

Rastafarians Seek Religious Recognition For Drug Use

 Priest Jevon Thompson at the Bobo Ashanti camp yesterday. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff 
Tribune Chief Reporter

RASTAFARIAN communities in The Bahamas are calling for reparatory justice in the form of state recognition and inclusion as national discourse over marijuana law reform picks up steam.

Priests canvassed by The Tribune said they expected the government to follow the track of Jamaica and Antigua, whose leaders have issued formal apologies for the longstanding oppression inflicted on Rastafarian communities due to their sacramental use of the plant.

The government has reportedly held talks with the Bobo Ashanti - formally known as the Ethiopia Africa Black International Congress (EABIC) - for the past three months concerning sacramental rights; however, confidence over the inclusion and equity stake of Rastafarians was not widespread.

An overriding concern among faith leaders was that the community be placed at the forefront of national discussions on marijuana law reform and commerce as it has led agitation over liberalisation of the plant for decades.  Read more >>