Rastafarians Petition Court In Kenya
Humans have a long history with the cannabis plant. It is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the Eastern Asia region, being initially used for grain and fiber.
The oldest known use of the cannabis plant for the purpose of fiber and grains is in Japan on the Oki Islands, dating all of the way back to 8000 BCE.
Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, known as the ‘Father of Chinese Medicine’ included medical cannabis in written medical writings back in 2727 BCE. Evidence of cannabis being used for textile purposes dates back even farther in China’s history.
The oldest known evidence of cannabis use for intoxication purposes is found in Central Asia in roughly 2500 BCE, although, cannabis could have certainly been used for that purpose previously, we just haven’t discovered evidence of it yet.
Cannabis has also been used for religious purposes for many years, most notably by Rastafarians. Cannabis use plays a very big role in the Rastafarian religion.
Rastafarianism started in Jamaica and has spread to parts of Africa, including in Kenya where Rastafarians are petitioning to get an exemption from cannabis laws to be able to use cannabis for religious purposes. Per Tuko:
The Rastafarian Society of Kenya and one of their prophets, Mwenda Wambua, have moved to court seeking orders to decriminalise the use of Marijuana in their places of worship.
Through their lawyer Shadrack Wambui, the society sought the court to suspend Section 3 of the Narcotics Act which involves the arrest, prosecution and conviction of the members of the Rastafarian society for their spiritual and private growth and use of cannabis in their private homes or designated places of worship.
It’s unclear right now what the chances are of the petition being granted, but it’s certainly worth a shot. There’s a clear need for the exemption, being that Rastafarians have a legit religious need for it.
No one should be persecuted because of their cannabis use, and that includes cannabis use for religious purposes.