Rastafari groups in Antigua and Barbuda now free to use marijuana for the sacrament

Antigua & Barbuda government ministers meet with Rasta leaders

On Wednesday, Antigua and Barbuda became the first country in the Caribbean to legalize the use of marijuana for religious purposes.

Three Rastafarian groups were granted authority by the Gaston Browne-led administration to use marijuana for the sacrament.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne said he made the decision in keeping with his administration’s thrust to promote inclusiveness.

“No group of individuals, based on their economic standing, their belief or religious practices…should be marginalized in this country,” Browne said.

According to him, his government believes strongly in inclusivity and equality of opportunity and justice, “and certainly, as your prime minister, I will continue to champion those causes on behalf of our people not only here but in the wider region,” Browne stated.

Representatives of the Nyabinghi Theocracy Church Inc., RasFreeman Foundation for the Unification of Rastafari, and the Wan Love Chant, all signed on behalf of their faith.

Under the current regulations, in the twin-island nation, persons over age 18 are permitted to possess a maximum of 15 grams of cannabis, while no more than four cannabis plants can be grown in each household.

The government has admitted that the move to decriminalize the cultivation and use of marijuana for personal use could potentially contribute to the prevalence of substance abuse among the nation’s youth.

That admission followed word from the police that marijuana is one of the substances most abused by children in the country, and also a public condemnation of that reality by members of the public who believe it is evidence of a decaying society.

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  1. Old News
    March 13, 2023

    These things should be behind us today.

  2. Affa
    March 11, 2023

    All politicians should be educated on what we are dealing with in the first place. I’m quite aware that his Dominica counterpart will follow suit, but to what end,
    The whole cannabis fiasco has had racism as its guiding principle that in sure Brown and Skeritt pretend not to be aware they’re following the works of the Kukluxklan’s race & cannabis plan that eventually involves the U.N to make it stick. That’s stick I tell you.
    It all started with U.S drug tzar Harry Anslinger in the 1930’s who conflated drug use, race, and music to criminalize non-whiteness and create a prison-industrial complex. And that the klan has accomplished with the help of who they consider negroes. Stand up to the klan, legalize canabinol throughout the Caribbean, let your farmers be empowered.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  3. up in smoke
    March 11, 2023

    We now know that marijuana was made illegal by the USA several decades ago as away of persecuting and discriminating against its own black population. And of course, when the USA issues a command, the rest of the world falls meekly into line. So far only a handful of nations have had the balls to reject this. Surely it is time for the rest of us to follow suit. We do not need excuses like religious events to make this happen.

    • Affa
      March 13, 2023

      Thailand rejected it, and legalized cannabis across the board, totally got rid of those U S originated/commanded laws.

  4. Some creatures
    March 10, 2023

    I often wonder how often do these “Rastas” shower and wash their hair. Brown should also give them some soap and toiletries to themselves. They look like Rams.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9
    • Waiting for Airport
      March 10, 2023

      this is called self hate, you hate the natural hair that grows out of an afro head (I’m sure you think women with European style weaves are beautiful)… just because these people choose not to conform to European standards of beauty, you percieve them negatively! Why? Because your white/colonial masters taught you to through societal indoctrination.

      Free your mind and learn to have some pride in the afro features that are natural to you!!!

      And if you happen not to be black and have the audacity to disrespect afro features, then go suck your …… !!!

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
      • Missie
        March 13, 2023

        That’s it in a nutshell, truth must be told against the wishes of racists and bigots.

    • out of south city
      March 17, 2023

      Whoever you are and whatever your thoughts are about Ratafarian and their hygiene, they are some of the cleanest people around. Let’s say they don’t wash their hair as you mention, I know for sure that there are other races whose hair can’t go past a week without washing. I wonder how often you wash your own hair. Look, if you don’t have any better thing to comment about, stay out of this space.

  5. Jesus is Lord and King
    March 10, 2023

    Brown is adding an extension to his police/gang forces to solidify his power. Put all groups on your side and you will reign king for a while. What plans do you have, Mr. Brown for those Gospel Preachers and ministers? You are comforting Thousands of people who do nothing but sit on the roadside and smoke marijuana and sell drugs. Soon you will see the results of your crazy ideas.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6
    • RA is King of Kings
      March 12, 2023

      Pastors? Your comment makes me wonder what you been smoking.

  6. Dirty Pollution Smoke
    March 10, 2023

    These are people who do not contribute financially to society but make children and sell and smoke weed. The government officials are getting their cut. They are following the Mexico system. Money money money and then is bang bang gone.

  7. Ibo France
    March 9, 2023

    Everyone who wants to use the ‘sacrament’ in Antigua is already doing this . This announcement by Gaston is therefore of no moment. The intention of this dubious statement is to distract from the insufferable hardship most residents are presently experiencing.

    Gaston claiming that he is inclusive and promote equality is not even remotely true. This man is most spiteful, brass, abusive, bellicose and dishonest.

    Equality? Look at the disparity in the standard of living between Gaston and his dinosaurs and the majority of the population. Abysmally shameful.

  8. Truth Be Told
    March 9, 2023

    Well done Antigua! The move in the Caribbean towards the decriminalisation of marijuana are imcremental but progressive little steps in the right direction. However, we are moving too slow and needd to catch up with mass commercialisation like the US.
    I am always amazed though, by lines like this one which states that, “The government has admitted that the move to decriminalize the cultivation and use of marijuana for personal use could potentially contribute to the prevalence of substance abuse among the nation’s youth.”
    Truth be told, more harm, abuse and health degradation has been caused by alcohol and tobacco cigarette use than any other drug in the world, but big business corporations have ensured their everyday use and availability!
    Let the ganja grow, let my people go!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

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