hen you think of Bob Marley, what comes to mind first? Do the famous lyrics of "No Woman, No Cry" or "Redemption Song" drift into your head? Or do you picture his trademark dreadlocks tucked beneath a Rastafarian hat?
For many fans, the first thing that pops up is an image of Marley smoking a joint, surrounded by a plume of pot smoke. But how did the reggae icon feel about recreational marijuana use?
You might be surprised by his answer...
Walk into any college dorm and you're bound to find at least one poster with an image of Marley surrounded by oversized pot leaves.
While Marley has been a symbol for pot enthusiasts for decades, but do the people who don T-shirts depicting him smoking a blunt know why he smoked?
Even for Marley superfans, this might come as a surprise.
While most people spark up a joint or take a hit from a bong as a way to relax, for Marley it was something much more meaningful.
It was part of his religion.
As a member of the Rastafarian movement, he believed the act of smoking “ganja,” the Rastafarian term for marijuana, was a holy sacrament.
Marley strongly believed that the marijuana plant holds healing properties.
On his official website, Marley is described as “a staunch supporter of the plant’s meditational, spiritual, and healing abilities, and a fierce opponent to those (‘political forces’) who tried using marijuana as a vehicle for oppression, and to keep certain groups of people out of the societal mainstream.”
Rastafarians are very strict about their marijuana habits.
Those who are especially pious abstain from using it at all, but most reserve it for medical and religious purposes.
The purpose of ganja is to “aid in meditation and perhaps help the user achieve greater mystical insight into the nature of the universe,” according to ThoughtCo.com.
Many have compared the Rastafarian use of marijuana to Holy Communion in Catholicism.
It’s a ritualistic act, and Rastas feel that the practice of smoking brings them closer to “Jah,” the Rastafarian term for God.