Rastafarians in Saint Lucia want apology for marijuana prosecution

By SNO Staff

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Aaron Alexander (right) said: “Rastafarians have been killed, Rastafarians have been blooded, jailed for many years.”

(SNO) — With the controversy over the legalization of marijuana continuing unabated, the Rastafarian community in Saint Lucia is now calling for an apology for prosecution because of the herb.

Marijuana has been culturally entrenched in the Rastafari movement since it began in the 1930s and is considered sacred , and is often referred to as the wisdom weed or holy herb.

Representatives of the Iyanola Council for the Advancement of Rastafari (ICAR) and Cannabis Movement said Rastafarians have been incarcerated and abused because the weed is presently illegal in Saint Lucia.

They met with the Council of Ministers earlier this week and it was agreed that is a need to improve the framework for the legalization of the weed.

They also said that forgiveness is important for the healing of Rastafarians.

“Families are being destroyed because of this,” a representative from the group, Aaron ‘Ras Iron’ Alexander said at a press briefing this week. “So there is a need for reparatory justice for the Rastafari community. Rastafarians have been killed, Rastafarians have been blooded, jailed for many years, some of them have been charged exorbitant fees — $100,000 — for having five dollars possession of cannabis.”

He stated that the Rastafari community has suffered the brunt of the illegality of marijuana in Saint Lucia.

“There is a need for an apology to the Rastafari community,” he stated.

Alexander pointed out it is a matter of human right for Rastafaris to practice their religion freely without fear.

“When we have our tabernacle, when we have our different religious celebrations, etc, we always have that fear, that cloud hanging over our head that the police could bust us at anytime, come there and arrest everybody for cannabis and so on,” he noted. “So we cannot have people living in fear like this.”

He argued that the UN Human Rights Declaration on Religious Freedom gave Rastafaris the right to practice their religion.

He said representatives of the group met with the ministers “to claim that freedom as well”.

(13)(2)
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7 comments

  1. how many accidents and deaths were caused by alcohol?many...how many accidents caused by weed?none...someone talk about cocaine..cocaine is created,mixed,different substances,from a leaf...same as weed...but weed is natural,only mixed when making hash.....recreational drugs alcohol and weed...but alcohol is legal where as weed is not...alcohol cause murders accidents death...just last weekend..2 murders,both cases involved alcohol...you smoke weed you get high some grades make you hungry,laugh,sleep...you cant use alcohol as medication,cocaine maybe you can because when you go to the dentist or hospital for something,depending on what,you get injected with a cocaine substance...many of you guys are just ignorant and/or stupid to not know the difference.

    (0)(0)
  2. While i agree with the general sentiments of the article, I see how we've been drawn into this argument about apologies and medical use and all that. In the end the powers that be win again. We're here focusing on the 'fluff' rather than the main issues. They always find ways to pit us against each other.

    Until legislation is passed to free our brothers and sisters in prison over the use of marijuana, this is a mute point in my opinion. People are still out here being arrested for herb.

    I stood in Washington DC among thousands (lawyers, doctors, accountants, etc) and we all had a draw of herb...legally. A stone throw from the White House. Common place ting now. Yet in St.lucia i would be considered and vagrant, arrested and treated like a dog if i ever tried that.

    The same system that persecuted Rastafari for the use of herb, has now become the main drug dealer. Smoke of that for a minute.

    Rastafari aren't the ones benefiting for legalization of herb. The system is. A rastaman will smoke his herb regardless. But there's billions to be made and guess who's seeing the profits. So before we all get drawn into blame the rastaman for asking for an apology, see the bigger picture. How would you feel if the rastaman said instead he wants a share of the profits? That's not far fetched at all. He's been persecuted for decades and have kept the plant alive despite being hunted like an animal. So those who are quick to judge and point fingers, what have you sacrificed other than run your mouths.

    I'm not in favor of legalization of anything without proper legislation that frees our brothers and sisters. Also, the rastaman who has been persecuted for decades deserves a sit at the table for a share of the profits. Black people want reparations for slavery, so why shouldn't the rastaman get just reward for having been treated like an animal for use of a plant that grows freely in nature for decades.

    (0)(0)
  3. Armchair Anonymous

    Marijuana is a herb, plain and simple which can have side effects, just like any other "herb" when abused (used indiscriminately). Just like most plants, marijuana has many varieties and strengths. To use the marijuana effectively for diseases and certain human conditions, it needs to be studies - which it has been in certain parts of the globe. Marijuana has been used for various epileptic seizures, eye conditions, to name a few - but it is the marijuana "pharmas" who know HOW to cure, and dispense the marijuana properly.

    Bad usage of marijuana by unscrupulous people have given it a bad name and a bad rap. I am sure the Rastafarian religion have their "pharmas" who grow certain marijuana plants for certain uses. For this herb to be decriminalized here in St Lucia - there has to be an education drive among users, "pharmas", and the general public.

    It is not everyone who can consume alcohol ... some people have better constitutions than others to "hold their liquor" ... same as marijuana. Alcohol comes in various strengths and brands ... same as marijuana. If you watch Dr Sanjay Gupta on CNN on his "Weed" program ... you are in for quite a wide eyeopener.

    I am all in favour in legalising marijuana - but more for medicinal purposes, more than for recreation. But the time is now.

    (6)(0)
  4. Apology from whom? And for what? Man, get out of here! I do empathize with y'all but are you telling me that "when" booling is made legal then there needs to be an apology? If they determine shitting by the sea legal then there need to be an apology? I think not!

    (5)(10)
  5. if i consider cocaine sacred? should i be allowed to use it, sell it and traffic it?

    (5)(9)
  6. I respect his point of view. However what about the countless side effects of weed. The accidents it has caused,those that take a high before going to steal and commit crimes. The damage to the human brain. They also need to speak about the ill effects that are well documented. Governments have a huge role to play in regulation & education. Because weed is highly addictive and impairs judgement etc etc.
    No need for apologies,because just now they will ask for compensation. Weed smokers and gays seem to want to have more rights than law abiding citizens !
    Not because it is natural means it is healthy.
    Respect due to those that say no to.

    (6)(9)

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