Abstract

PRECIS:

This essay examines the theological and socioeconomic impacts of the creation of the Jamaican marijuana industry on the Rastafari faith in Jamaica and, mainly, how Rastas are navigating the forces of governmental regulation and global capitalist control of the holy herb. I argue that the scope of the Rastafari reactions to the dominating force of cannabis legislation in Jamaica is fundamentally a function of their longstanding precarious status in Jamaica. Rastas' rejection of the colonial and postcolonial state, proclamation of black redemption, deification of Emperor Haile Selassie I, and sacralization of marijuana brought them into conflict with the state, thereby reinforcing their liminal position as an "other." Throughout this essay, I draw upon the themes of postcolonial theory to understand the history of colonial and postcolonial legislative repression of Rastafari and how Rastas have deployed strategies of resistance and survival within and against the Jamaican society.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2162-3937
Print ISSN
0022-0558
Pages
pp. 569-594
Launched on MUSE
2021-02-16
Open Access
No
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