Jah Bilah intro:
This examination of the rise of Rastafari in mainstream following popular conversion of Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion back in 2013 contains some reasoning by UK bredrin Benjamin Zephaniah and Maxi Priest.
“Regarding the body as a temple, which must be loved, respected and well looked after, is another Rastafarian mantra. And contrary to popular belief, not all Rastafarians smoke marijuana, and if they do, they don’t simply smoke to get high.
However, this happens today within the context of an ever-increasing amount of anti-smoking campaigns highlighting the negative effects smoking has on the body, which are being taken more seriously now and are much more chronicled and echoed from the rooftops.
The reasons Rastas give up smoking marijuana are the same reasons why tobacco users kick the habit. Although there are many Rastafarians who still smoke, others, especially those who follow a stringent orthodox lifestyle, advise smokers to respect their body.
“Most people think all Rastafarians smoke marijuana, but I don’t smoke because I view my body as a temple,” says Zephaniah, who lectures at Brunel University.
“I came to the conclusion that I didn’t need ganja to get high and I didn’t like the habit I developed. So I have been getting high from not being high for the last 30 years.
Agreeing, Priest adds: “You get one chance to live and you must learn to preserve it so that you can live a longer life with meaning, caring and understanding.
“I had a heart attack, and even before the heart attack, I wanted to stop smoking. But when I had the heart attack – that made me realise how precious and delicate my temple is.
“The biggest myth about Rastafarians in terms of stereotypes is weed, but you don’t have to smoke weed. There is more to the understanding and the faith of being a Rastafarian than just weed.”