The Rastafarian Movement in Sierra Leone has presented their position paper to the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) calling for the legalization of Marijuana (JAMBA) and the recognition of their religious right.
In their position paper at the CRC Headquaters Miatta Conference Hall on 30th November, 2015 the movement states that the Rastafarian body is a socio-cultural, economic and religious Movement that has been in existence since 1989 in Sierra Leone with a broad objective of not only ensuring the positive transformation of the ill influence mind-set of youths and children (those that form a large portion of the country’s population), but also to spread the holy teachings of the Holy Bible, as well as the values and morals of His Imperial Majesty , Emperor Haille Silasi , Marcus Galley, Kwami Nkrumah to name but a few.
The Rastafarian Movement presented that, Marijuana is currently listed amongst the harmful drugs like Cocaine and Brown- Brown, and therefore considered an illegal substance in the laws of the Country.
They added that as Rastafarians they have personal relationship with Marijuana and have been very considered about it categorization and misused.
“If Marijuana is truly a harmful drug as purported, how comes its use is legally allowed in countries around the world including Canada, Holland and United States of America for medical and recreational purpose?” they asked.
They further stated that, countries like Uruguay for instance, allow the growing and consumption of Marijuana mainly for economic reasons, and is high time people started looking at the bigger picture and the other sides of Marijuana in Sierra Leone.
They pointed out that their belief as Rastafarians and ardent believers of all that is contain in the Holy Scriptures, Marijuana is an herb.
They said records show that it was discovered centuries ago on the graveside of King Solomon, the wisest and richest King ever, and it has been in active utilization for over fifteen million years, and mostly seen around the mountain chains of Khagikistan, which found its way to China, India and other parts of the World as mans best partner and receptor.
The Rastafarians further stated that Marijuana is considered as the Holy Sacrament just in the same way Christians consider the Holy Communion as the Body of Christ in their belief and Worship.
They said the Constitution of Sierra Leone makes it clear that no one should be discriminated because of his or her belief.
They stated that the condemnation of Marijuana is based mainly on ignorance and disrespect for Jah’s (God) creation, by so doing, they are calling on the reviewers of the Sierra Leone 1991 constitution to look at Marijuana in the broader perspective and ignore the myths around it.
“This is because the people who after smoking Marijuana run into Violence are most likely to have mixed it up with actual drugs like cocaine or cigarettes and alcohol,” they Said.
They questioned that if addressing harm is the case, why is it that cigarette is allowed in huge consignments into the country and smoked rampantly, even though producers of it are under strict international obligation to label it as dangerous to human health?
They recommended that a religious impact assessment (RIA) must be a necessary condition before the start of any major national aspirations.
They said it will ensure a sustainable development and it will be morally and humanly friendly.
They said Rastafarians all over the world have personal spiritual relationship with the marijuana and have been deeply concerned about its misuse by misguided persons in society.