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What Are the True Beliefs of the Rasta Religion When It Comes To Marijuana?

Updated on January 26, 2015
The colors symbolize the destruction of the African people and their land.  -The red is the blood of people taken into slavery -The yellow or gold is the stolen mineral resources  -The green is the lost lands of vast green forests
The colors symbolize the destruction of the African people and their land. -The red is the blood of people taken into slavery -The yellow or gold is the stolen mineral resources -The green is the lost lands of vast green forests

What Do Rastafarians Actually Believe?

If you imagine a typical bud smoker, there is a good chance that you'll think of a Rastafarian. The Rasta movement is one of the most misunderstood religions there is, with lots of people seeing their religion as not much more than an excuse to get high as hell! Weed seeds and the cannabis plant itself play a very integral part in how they practice their religious beliefs, but that is only scratching the surface. There's a lot of misconceptions about what Rastafarian's actually do believe, and it's about time that a lot of the confusion is erased! Here's some of the most important principles of this unusual religion.

Jah, Haile Selassie and Jesus Christ

The Rastafarian movement is a derivative of Christianity and Judaism. All offshoots of Christianity are anticipating the return of Jesus Christ, but for Rastas, it already has happened! They do believe in the God of the Holy Bible but they call him Jah, and conclude that His latest physical manifestation was in the former Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie I. Although Selassie died in 1975, Rastafarian's believe that he will return to gather his followers and take them to Zion which is the promised land.

Marijuana and Religious Rituals

For Rastas, smoking cannabis is not a way just to get blowed like many people who smoke – it is a sacrament, a ritual of spirituality to become closer to God. Regularly they hold gatherings, also known as “reasonings”, where a group of Rastafarian's will gather together, smoke weed, and talk about all kinds of philosophical and religious issues. Rastafarian's often incorporate smoking with the reading of the Bible, with the belief that with the enhancing of their minds from the herbals that they can achieve a greater understanding of the word of God.

Of course, consuming ganja for the purpose of religion isn't just unique to Rastafarian's. Marijuana seeds and marijuana itself have been found in all kinds of different religions, ranging from Sufism and Taoism to the somewhat modern religious practice of Cantheism. But only few religions have put cannabis so centered to their spirituality as the Rastafarian movement!

The Bible and Marijuana

Some naysayers may be skeptical about the support in the scriptures for a ganja habit, but Rasta's insist that the Book references many times to their preferred substance. One of the most celebrated, they cite scriptures in the book of Revelations that they believe refers to ganja:

"the river of life proceeded to flow from the throne of God, and on either side of the bank there was the tree of life, and the leaf from that tree is for the healing of the nations"

There's even some more direct endorsements to weed seeds and leaves throughout the Holy Bible in particular translations, like it being a major ingredient in anointing oils and as incense to be burned in honor of God.

The Rasta movement perhaps have found its most celebrated voice through reggae music, but close examination shows it to be a sophisticated and enlightening religion that is worthwhile of closer study, an enchanting combo of Jamaican culture, Christianity plus a very extraordinary herb!

Your comments and insights below will be appreciated!


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      we all had better be thinking of Jesus Christ and His blood that He ha shed for you instead of being deluded by all these anti Christ human beings who are going to die like everyone else and be tormented for eternity for their beliefs wake up and ask Jesus to prove his authenticy. He is waiting for you to knock so you can answer and invite HIM IN

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      7 years ago from New Jersey

      I stand corrected! I wasn't thinking of the "Rasta" flag. Thanks for the great hub!

    • Phil The Gain profile imageAUTHOR

      Phil The Gain 

      7 years ago from Planet Earth

      The Jamaican flag and the Rasta flag are not the same flag but Jean you are correct about the meaning of the Jamaican flag colors. The Jamaican National Flag came into use on August 6, 1962.

      The current Rasta flag is the old Ethiopian flag with the Lion of Judah symbol. The original flag of Rastafarians was Red, Black and Green. Red represented the blood of blacks that died in struggle to fight off their white oppressors. Black represented the color of black Africans skin. Green represented the vegetation of Jamaica and Jah's earth.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      7 years ago from New Jersey

      But Jesus turned the water into wine, so clearly drinking was OK in the Bible. While in Jamaica, the National colors have been explained to me this way: Yellow is for the Sun, Black is for the People, Red is for the one blood we all share, and Green is for the "Vegetation." :)

    • Timothy Donnelly profile image

      Timothy Donnelly 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Interesting, but living a sober life is surely the true teaching of God; that way, the Holy Spirit will not be mistaken for thoughts, notions, or temptations which are not emanating from God (after the Only Begotten Son accepted and was accepted by the Father to fulfill the Plan of Salvation instituted in the council of Heaven, to divide the Heavens amongst the good while banishing the evil - not that followers of Rastafarian are evil, but normally, a polluted mind is unable to heed the Word of God, I've found).

    • Druid Dude profile image

      Druid Dude 

      7 years ago from West Coast

      Roots in Africa. Mainly, an old testament interpretation. They use it as a guideline for their diet, way of daily living, and spiritual insight, including views on Cannabis, which they, as I, consider to be a gift from the Creator. I call myself a Nazirite/Gnostic. One is old testament, the other is new testament philosophy. Reggae is traditionally Rasta, or Rasta inspired music.


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