Atlanta law firm David West and Associates are reporting an acquittal in a marijuana case after presenting a religious freedom defense. Associate Pamela Corvelli convinced a Lamar County prosecutor to drop the charges based on their client’s religious Rastafarian practices. The Rastafari way of life encompasses the spiritual use of cannabis.
For Rastas, smoking cannabis, commonly referred to as herb, weed, kaya, sinsemilla (Spanish for ‘without seeds’), or ganja (from the Sanskrit word ganjika, used in ancient Nepal and India), is a spiritual act, often accompanied by Bible study; they consider it a sacrament that cleans the body and mind, heals the soul, exalts the consciousness, facilitates peacefulness, brings pleasure, and brings them closer to Jah. They often burn the herb when in need of insight from Jah. Cannabis remains illegal in Jamaica and most of the world and this has caused friction between Rastas and other societies.
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