Kenyan Rastafarians seek to legalize marijuana over doubts of other faith leadersPosted by On


NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — Rastafarians have petitioned the Kenyan high court to decriminalize the use of cannabis, claiming that smoking marijuana is part of their religious practice.  

“We Rastafari, who have been stigmatized and misunderstood, we have come here to say in agreement with the United Nations that the use of cannabis for cultural, spiritual and medicinal should be allowed for people who (have) been using it for many years,” Ras Lorjoron, the chairman of the Rastafarian Society of Kenya, told journalists Monday (May 17) outside the court, where the Rastafarians demanded legal use of the plant in their houses and places of worship.

In December, a United Nations commission voted to remove cannabis from its list of deadly drugs, while still calling it harmful.


RELATED: Rastafarianism, promising freedom, spreads among African youth


 “Many parts of the world have come to debate and allow the use for spiritual, health and cultural purpose,” Lorjoron added. 

Smoking marijuana, say followers of the Rastafarian movement, is their way of connecting with their God, Jah. The “holy herb,” they maintain, heightens their feeling of community and helps them reach a spiritual realm. 

According to Lorjoron, the Rastafarians in Kenya are frequent targets of arrest by the police and persecution for the spiritual use of cannabis, especially for sacramental purposes. Many of them end up growing the plant secretly in forests, home compounds or pots inside…

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NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — Rastafarians have petitioned the Kenyan high court to decriminalize the use of cannabis, claiming that smoking marijuana is part of their religious practice.  

“We Rastafari, who have been stigmatized and misunderstood, we have come here to say in agreement with the United Nations that the use of cannabis for cultural, spiritual and medicinal should be allowed for people who (have) been using it for many years,” Ras Lorjoron, the chairman of the Rastafarian Society of Kenya, told journalists Monday (May 17) outside the court, where the Rastafarians demanded legal use of the plant in their houses and places of worship.

In December, a United Nations commission voted to remove cannabis from its list of deadly drugs, while still calling it harmful.


RELATED: Rastafarianism, promising freedom, spreads among African youth


 “Many parts of the world have come to debate and allow the use for spiritual, health and cultural purpose,” Lorjoron added. 

Smoking marijuana, say followers of the Rastafarian movement, is their way of connecting with their God, Jah. The “holy herb,” they maintain, heightens their feeling of community and helps them reach a spiritual realm. 

According to Lorjoron, the Rastafarians in Kenya are frequent targets of arrest by the police and persecution for the spiritual use of cannabis, especially for sacramental purposes. Many of them end up growing the plant secretly in forests, home compounds or pots inside…



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