The Rastafari movement is an African-based spiritual ideology that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica. It is sometimes described as a religion but is considered by many adherents to be a "Way of Life". Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia (ruled 1930–1974), some as Jesus in his Second Advent, or as God the Father. Members of the Rastafari way of life are known as Rastas, or the Rastafari. The way of life is sometimes referred to as "Rastafarianism", but this term is considered derogatory and offensive by most Rastafari, who, being highly critical of "isms" (which they see as a typical part of "Babylon culture"), dislike being labelled as an "ism" themselves.
For Rastas, smoking cannabis, commonly referred to as herb, weed, kaya, sinsemilla (Spanish for 'without seeds'), or ganja (from the Sanskrit word ganjika, used in ancient Nepal and India), is a spiritual act, often accompanied by Bible study; they consider it a sacrament that cleans the body and mind, heals the soul, exalts the consciousness, facilitates peacefulness, brings pleasure, and brings them closer to Jah. They often burn the herb when in need of insight from Jah. Cannabis remains illegal in Jamaica and most of the world and this has caused friction between Rastas and other societies.
- Rastafari movement at Wikipedia
- “The world is catching up now”: Acceptance growing for Rastafarians by David McFadden (September 15, 2014), The Cannabist
- Encyclopedia of African and African-American Religions p. 263 by Stephen D. Glazier, 2001
- Rastafari: The Secret History of the Marijuana Religion Swazi (May 19, 2010), Cannabis Culture