If there was anywhere on Earth where it was legal to blaze the chalice, one would think that that place would be Jamaica, popularised by our own legendary ambassadors such as Bob Marley (in singles such as Kaya), Peter Tosh (Legalise It), Yellow Man (Sensemilla), Rita Marley (One Draw, more popularly known as I Wanna Get High) and Buju Banton (Driva). After the most recent recommendations to decriminalise weed, made by national commissions set up in the late 1990s by the government, namely that of former prime ministers P.J. Patterson and, more recently, Bruce Golding, to study the phenomenon of this herb, it would appear that support is growing in Parliament. Justice Minister Mark Golding and Opposition Senator Tom Tavares-Finson have shown their cards.
Reggae hits like Peter Tosh's 'Legalise it,' among many others, give the impression that reggae music has a certain affiliation with marijuana, and that’s because it most certainly does. For many years reggae musicians have sung lyrics about the herb, and many advocate its use. However, it’s not directly from the music that this advocacy comes from; instead it’s the intrinsically linked Rastarfarian religion that holds such a close relation to ganja. So, in these modern days where Reggae stills gains musical fans, does it influence people to smoke the herb? The answer is by no means clear. However, with so many musicians across the world who aren’t Rastafarian adopting reggae as a musical form, reggaes links to cannabis could be loosening up a bit.