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rastafarians move to court to seek legalisation of marijuana.

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Rastafarians

by Helvine Achieng May 19, 2021

The Rastafari Society of Kenya (RSK) has filed a case in court seeking to lift the law criminalising the use of marijuana. The case that was filed before the High Court argued that the law is unconstitutional for banning the private use of cannabis by persons professing the Rastafari faith.



The Rastafarian lawyers Shadrack Wambui and Alexander Mwendwa argue that cannabis is a 'sacrament' used to connect a Rasta believer to their 'creator'.The two leaders are advocating for the state to let the Rastafarians use cannabis in their houses and places of worship which the law says is illegal. They said marijuana is used by adherents of the faith for medicinal, culinary and ceremonial purposes as displayed in their Holy Book called 'Holy Piby'.


"Cannabis can be spiritually referred to as bhang, marijuana, holy herb, kushungpeng, tire, ndom, vela, gode and kindukulu," they added.


The Rastafarians want the court to quash section 3(2) (a) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control Act. 


According to the lawyers representing the Rastafarians, the verse that allows them to smoke marijuana is referred to as 'Nebra Negas (Glory of Kings) or through 'reasoning', which involves using cannabis in their tabernacles.


The Rastafarians argue that the law is unconstitutional for banning the private use of cannabis by persons professing the Rastafari faith. 


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