It’s Ok for Rastafarians to smoke weed to meditate: Italian court

The Local Italy
The Local Italy - [email protected]
It’s Ok for Rastafarians to smoke weed to meditate: Italian court
Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP

An Italian court acquitted a man found with 58 grams of cannabis in his possession because, as a Rastafarian, he was using the ‘sacred herb’ to meditate.


Explaining the reasons behind the April acquittal, the court in Bari said that “Rastafarians are followers of a religion whose believers use marijuana for meditation”, adding that the drug was just for personal use.

The 30-year-old was arrested in May 2016 after police found eight grams of cannabis in his pocket and a further 50 grams during a search of his home.

The man said that he had set up a meditation room at home, where he listened to Rasta music on a record player while smoking weed.

A prosecutor had called for up to four months in prison but his lawyer, Luca Bruno, argued that marijuana is regarded as a sacred herb within the Rastafari ‘religion’.

Indeed, Rastafarians believe that the marijuana plant has holy powers, and use it during meditation sessions to enhance a sense of unity and spirituality. A short prayer is usually recited before it is smoked.

Although it lacks legal recognition, Rastafari, which originated in Jamaica in the 1930s, is classified as both a new religious movement and a social movement.

Despite cannabis use being illegal in Italy, some three million kilos of the drug are consumed in the country each year.




Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also