Sunday the 14th October saw the gathering of all mansions (denominations) of Rastafari along with pro cannabis activist at Woodford Square in the capital of the twin island of Trinidad and Tobago, Port-Of-Spain, to protest the continued prohibition of cannabis.
It was reported in the Guardian Newspaper that, “For approximately 10 hours, the illegal drug appeared to be temporarily “decriminalized” within the confines of the park, as ganja smokers from across T&T openly lit up in the shadows of the under-renovation Red House and Hall of Justice.”
Trinidad and Tobago’s first ever National Ganja Rally was hailed a success. That being said, the ultimate success of current cannabis advocacy action’s for legalization across the region would be the total legalization of the plant. I was told this national ganja rally lasted some 10 hours. I was also informed that an unofficial amnesty on the arrest of people for using the plant was in effect for that activity. It would seem, based on reports given that GANJA appeared to be temporarily “decriminalized” within the confines of the park, as ganja smokers from across T&T openly lit up in the shadows of the under-renovation Red House and Hall of Justice.
The Guardian Newspaper reported that “ Around midday, however, senior police officers were seen checking whether the organisers had permission to host the rally and to remind them that possession of marijuana is still illegal. They said, “we just want to make sure that nobody has a marijuana plant exhibition. It has not been decriminalized yet,” one officer was heard saying before they left.
Although a handful of police officers remained for the remainder of the event, the day proceeded without incident as the officers chose to secure the perimeter of Woodford Square instead of navigating through the crowd looking for Ganja smokers to arrest.
The first ever National Ganja Rally was adorned with Rastafari prayers and chants, reggae music and speeches by local and international cannabis activists and proponents.
Many took this opportunity to have a puff of the cannabis as they meditated on the days proceedings, others drank homemade ganja wine, while others consumed edible products. It was a day of sharing filled with intent and the conviction that Rastafari in Trinidad and Tobago be decriminalized through the legalization of the cannabis plant. Cannabis business was booming on the day as some people sold trinkets and jewellery, while others had merchandise that included T-shirts, grinders, bongs, smoking paper and other cannabis paraphernalia for sale.
Although those gathered for the most part were members of the different Rastafarian sects, there were also a lot of others from a wide cross-section of T&T’s society. Attendees were treated to performances from a cadre of up-and-coming and veteran local reggae musicians and singers as the event dragged on late into yesterday evening.
Most interestingly, the Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs and Laventille West MP Fitzgerald Hinds, himself a Rastafarian, was also present at the event. In a brief interview with the “ Guardian” Hinds noted that yesterday was not his first attendance at an event hosted by the Rastafari movement. Hinds is currently a member of a Cabinet committee tasked with considering a recent report from Caricom’s Marijuana Commission calling for decriminalization of marijuana for recreational and medical purposes. It must be noted that this is the same report that Barbadian politicians are totally ignoring.
“I am here to listen and learn so I can better inform the committee to which I am a part as we go forward with this important issue,” Hinds said.
Meanwhile here in Barbados the Medicinal Cannabis Industry Bill 2019 is being debated. This is a bill that ignores the indigenous traditional use of the plant and give’s the Rastafari community no special consideration for participation. Added to this the Rastafari community continues to be denied its human right to practice their faith which includes the use of cannabis, without fear of persecution, prosecution or perishing.
Reliable sources had informed me that the Order Of The Nyahbinghi Theocracy Reign is in the process of drafting a document stating their position as it pertains to the government’s consistent ignoring of their human rights. This document will be sent to the office of the Attorney General and that of the Prime Minister, stating, unless a reform of the prohibition of cannabis is not implemented the Nyahbinghi will be taking the government to court. Attorney- At- Law Mr. Douglas Trotman has indicated that in his estimation, the government would lose this case just as that of St. Kitts earlier this year.
All mansions of Rastafari need to host cannabis rallies through their respective islands. It is “HIGH” time the Rastafari through the region challenge their respective governments for their human rights to be respected. Courts need to be flooded with legal cases against the government in respect to the use of cannabis for sacrament and traditional home use.
The African Heritage Foundation will be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Ivine Order Of The Nyahbinghi Theocracy Reign in the fight for the liberation of the cannabis plant and all the people that use it.
Please note that you are invited to a reggae house lime “Red Light Congo Night” that will be hosted by the AHF and Nyahbinghi House. This is a fund raising activity that will assist with the repairs to the Nyahbinghi tabernacle and assist with future developmental plans to national cannabis advocacy for the legalization of the plant. The lime starts at 7pm and ends at midnight. The venue is the AHF’s headquarters “Liberty House” that is located on Upper Two Mile Hill. St. Michael. You can call or whatsapp 260-4795 for more info on this activity.
Apart from some homemade wine, this activity is alcohol and flesh free. Donations – $10
Join the FB event page https://www.facebook.com/events/2603124386397114/
“AMOR” GANJA RALLY TRINIDAD …… Please share this article
President and Founder African Heritage Foundation