Take a second to just close your eyes and relax, and then try to picture Bob Marley. It’s a safe bet that two things happened. First, a reggae song probably popped into your head while you were doing it. The other is that you probably imagined Bob with some smoke coming out of his lips.
For living only 36 years, the Jamaican legend left quite an impression on the world. His music is still popular, and he has such a strong brand around him that it’s easy to forget he died over 35 years ago.
And, the weed. He loved it.
What was the deal with Marley and marijuana? It’s more complex than you may think.
Bob’s Reason to Smoke
He may be a champion of potheads around the world, but Bob Marley was doing a lot more than just getting high. He was a very religious guy, and smoking was all about that for him. It was more like meditation, and he used this to connect with his spirituality as much as he did with his music.
So, it’s a common misbelief that he got high just because he enjoyed it. Of course he liked the feeling, but it was about what it was doing to his mind and his soul. For Bob, herb was something to use for healing, and he considered it a “sacrament.”
What is a Rastafarian?
Before you hop off and start using religion as a reason to light up, you should know what Bob’s beliefs were. Rastafari is a religion that started in his native Jamaica in the 1930s, and it became a center point of his life. It’s similar to Christianity because of one god, Jah, and it has a strong connection with Ethiopia.
Ganja, as they call it (or weed, kaya, and herb), is a key part of the religion. It’s a sacrament for the members, and they’re allowed to smoke major amounts of it to help them follow their path.
Not the Only Pot Religion
The Rastas have a lot of ceremony around smoking the plant, but they’re not the only religion who does. It made it to Jamaica because of its part in the culture in Africa, and traders had originally brought it there from Asia. But, they aren’t the only faith to smoke it, as they point out references to the plant in the Bible, as well as other religions that value it.
Inspiration for Marley
There’s no question that we love his music, and we probably have cannabis to thank for that. Bob is said to have smoked legendary amounts of herb, and he really liked how it would clear his head to allow him to focus on what was right.
It’s pretty clear that the mental and spiritual state that smoking brought him to really contributed to his creation of art. He didn’t get high because it made the music sound better, he did it because he thought it was a gift that would let him contribute something truly beautiful.
Not a Legal Activist
As the times are changing, more and more people are standing up to fight for their rights when it comes to pot. Many Rastas think that cannabis being illegal in so many places is a persecution against their religion, and one theory is that it’s the Babylon system trying to hold them back.
Bob definitely thought people should be allowed to smoke it. But, he didn’t jump into the role as a legal activist fighting for it. He did get arrested for possession, and he wrote a lot of songs about the benefits of the plant, but it didn’t go much further than that.
However, it’s safe to say that he would be happy to see the direction the world is going now.
His Songs Are Full of It
If you want to hear any more proof of how important ganja was to him, just listen to some of his songs.
“I’m so high, I even touch the sky,” he said in Kaya as he talked about how great the feelings of being high are.
Or, “when you smoke in a bong, you are baked all night long, mista.” These lyrics from Ganja Gun make it pretty clear about one of his favorite methods.
And the song Legalize It, well, that just speaks for itself!
Continue His Legacy
It’s a major shame that the world lost a talented man at such a young age, but that doesn’t mean we can’t carry on his legacy. We can still enjoy his music while smoking a little herb, and you can follow in his footsteps by trying to let it inspire you to a higher level. If you need some advice on which strain will do this to your brain, come on in and we’ll give you some tips.