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Location of Ethiopia within Africa

Ethiopia, officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea to the north and northeast, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south. With about 92,000,000 inhabitants, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world, as well as the second-most populated nation on the African continent (after Nigeria). It occupies a total area of 1,100,000 km2, and its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa.

Haile Selassie

Haile Selassie was crowned Emperor on 2 November 1930 with the titles "King of Kings", "Lord of Lords", "Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah", "Elect of God."

Haile Selassie I was Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. He was the heir to a dynasty that traced its origins by tradition from King Solomon and Queen Makeda, Empress of Axum, known in the Abrahamic tradition as the Queen of Sheba.

Among the Rastafari movement, whose followers are estimated at between 200,000 and 800,000, Haile Selassie is revered as the returned messiah of the Bible, God incarnate. Beginning in Jamaica in the 1930s, the Rastafari movement perceives Haile Selassie as a messianic figure who will lead a future golden age of eternal peace, righteousness, and prosperity. Haile Selassie was an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian throughout his life. Haile Selassie is a defining figure in both Ethiopian and African history.[1]


Despite being the spiritual homeland of the Rastafari movement, cannabis possession is in fact illegal in Ethiopia, and sentances can be harsh. The main body responsible for drug policy in Ethiopia is the Drug Administration and Control Authority, and the police department responsible for enforcing this policy is the Ethiopian Federal Police Counter-Narcotic Division (EFPCND).

Arrests for possession of cannabis are not unusual, and it is advisable for anyone seeking to try local cannabis in Ethiopia to exercise caution, as foreign prisoners are often detained with no notification given to the relevant embassy or consular services. However, cannabis use is prevalent and widely socially accepted. For possession of cannabis, sentences usually range from fines to short prison sentences; penalties for distribution and trafficking are more severe, ranging from five years’ imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 Ethiopian birr (around $6,100) to ten years’ imprisonment or even longer. Traffickers arrested in Ethiopia are often Tanzanian, although Ugandan, Ethiopian, South African, and (occasionally) Belgian and British citizens make up just over half of all trafficking arrests.[2]

Additional Resources


  1. The Rastafarians (1988), Google Books
  2. Cannabis in Ethiopia (August 20, 2013), Sensi Seeds


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