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Exclusive: Julian Marley Discusses His Spiritual Connection with Pot

Sara Brittany Somerset

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The history of cultural, spiritual and religious usage of marijuana traces back millennia.

In the first century AD, practitioners of Taoism used hemp seeds in their incense burners during meditation.

In Hinduism, the pot plant is associated with the God Shiva. Some followers of Shiva, smoke pot in clay pipes called chillums. They believe pot is a gift from Shiva, provided to help humans attain a higher level of spirituality.

Almost every major world religion has documented ingesting the marijuana plant. While various cultures cite the influence and uses of marijuana in spiritual practices, no spiritual pot practitioners are as prevalent in modern society as Rastafarians.

Rastafarians, AKA Rastafari, or “Rastas” for short, are mainly naturalists who believe that Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was a descendent of King Solomon and the incarnation of God on Earth, or Jah.

One of Rastafari’s most internationally recognized followers, Jamaican reggae singer Bob Marley, spearheaded the cultural, religious movement of Rastafari and brought it into the mainstream lexicon.

When Bob was asked how the emperor could be considered a god when he was overthrown by the Ethiopian army, he simply replied, “Dem crucified Christ.”

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Bob’s son Julian’s beliefs are similar, as is his voice—distinctively gentle, raspy and confident.

In his throaty whisper, Julian held a conscious reasoning with HIGH TIMES, to discuss what marijuana means to him, as a Rasta. He matter-of-factly explained the cultural and spiritual connection between Rasta and marijuana.

In his throaty whisper, Julian held a conscious reasoning with HIGH TIMES, to discuss what marijuana means to him, as a Rasta. He matter-of-factly explained the cultural and spiritual connection between Rasta and marijuana.

“I smoke herb, because I am Rasta. Herb is a sacred, spiritual sacrament that Rastas use.  We use it in prayer and when we’re reasoning, when we pray, when we are in meditation, spiritual reasons mainly. Any other reason is for food, clothing, shelter and medicines. You have a whole heap a things we use if for, but our purpose is mainly for spiritual reasons. The herb is called the wisdom tree. Herb was found growing on King Solomon’s tomb. King Solomon was the wisest man in creation.  If King Solomon was [the] wisest man on Earth, and herb was found growing on his grave, what does that show you?”

HIGH TIMES: Why do you think marijuana should be legal?

Julian Marley: “The spiritual connection between the herb and Rasta started in the Garden of Eden. It started from ancient times, with creation, for as long as trees have been on Earth, since before man. Why would man want to make something illegal that was created by God and was put here on Earth? If God put it here, are people are trying to say that God is wrong?  How can people say that God is wrong? God can never be wrong. God made everything for the uses of man, and it was man’s job to find the uses for each. Man found fruit to eat. He figured out a lot of natural uses for the herbs and the trees. You may have other drugs that comes from trees, but are not natural, because you have to add some chemical to them to make them work, but herb grows naturally like wheat. It’s ready. You must pick it off the tree, and you figure out what you want to do with it. You can smoke it, eat it, drink it in tea.”

“I think herb doesn’t hurt anybody; it only makes you wiser, and it helps you to vibe with people. There is so much segregation in [the] world today. Everyone is locked up in his or her own little world. Herb makes you a little freer. You look at your neighbor a little easier. Herb takes away the stress of the day, so for me herb doesn’t hurt anybody.  People use it for all kinds of different, positive reasons, as it should be legal.”

HT: Do you feel that marijuana helps your creative process?

JM: “Herb opens up your mind to take in the inspiration of the almighty. The whole world was built up off the connection of the natural mystic from the core of the Earth to the atmosphere. The whole world works off energy that flows from the almighty. Sometimes you have to smoke some herb to open up your third eye more, and clear the way for knowledge to come in. It opens up your creative process.”

Related: Julian Marley’s “Lemme Go” Video & Album Stream

For all of HIGH TIMES’ culture coverage, click here

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