Fact 016: Rastafarians Are Legally Allowed To Possess Marijuana In Italy Due To It Being A ‘Sacrament’ To The Religion

Rastafari, a religion that started in Jamaica in the early 1930s. About 10 percent of the total Jamaican population are Rastafarians. They also consider Ethiopia to be their Promised Land or spiritual home, they consider the former emperor of Ethiopia to be a divine figure also i.e. Haile Selassie. Smoking of marijuana or the possession of it is not a criminal offence in Italy, however it is a religious act particularly if the individual in question is a Rastafarian. It is argued that how much of marijuana is to be possessed by a Rastafarian in order not to abuse this law. As permitted by the Court of Cassation in Italy, 10 grams of marijuana is allowed to be consumed and puffed up per day according to the principles of Rastafari. In 2004, a Rastafarian was apprehended and sentenced to 16 months behind bars and also to remit a fine of €4,000 for the possession of 97g of marijuana in Perugia, Italy. However, the Court of Cassation ruled in the favor of the Rastafarian that the first appeal court had failed to consider the sacrament of marijuana to the Rastafarian man’s religion. Marijuana is smoked by Rastafarians according to their beliefs that this cannabis plant was grown in the tomb of King Solomon said the court. The Court of Cassation canceled the sentence of the Rastafarian and said the amount of marijuana found in his possession was appropriate for consumption by an average Rastafarian as opposed to the large amounts smoked by other Rastafarians. The illegality and prohibition of marijuana by several countries is an indication of Rastafari persecution. Although, Italy is the pioneering country to recognize and legalize the spiritual use of marijuana in Europe.

This victory for Rastafarians has led to the little headway by other religious advocates of marijuana use in the United States in spite of devoted efforts by these advocates. Although in the year 2000, the Supreme Court of Guam ruled that a Rasta has the legal right to import marijuana and should not be prosecuted for it as it is for religious use. The Rastafari religion believed Haile Selassie who died in the year 1975 as a god, the Rasta also go around evangelizing unity with nature and also regard the smoking of marijuana as a a sacrament, this is believed to be one of their beliefs and precepts. Rastafarians also use marijuana for medicinal purposes, however as a potential way to get to the psycho-physical condition contemplation aims for while praying. To be a Rastafarian follower it is expedient for you as a Rasta to use the sacred grass i.e. Cannabis sativa popularly known as marijuana daily, you are to use at least 10 grams of this sacred grass daily. Most Rastafarians smoke in together and are very much likely to argue and convince anyone about the divine nature of marijuana popularly known as Cannabis Sativa.

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