Reggae star Buju Banton faces drug trial in Florida

On his upcoming album “Before the Dawn,” Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton crows about standing strong, though battered and bruised, in the face of a gathering darkness.

The songs sound prophetic — the four-time Grammy nominee recorded them before he was arrested on federal cocaine charges last December. The trial is scheduled to start Monday in Tampa — a week before the album’s U.S. release. He faces a possible life sentence if convicted.

“I’ve been accused, wrongly convicted. Jah knows I’m innocent,” he sings in his gravelly voice, invoking the Rastafarian God. “I’ve been badly singled out by beloved friends … who sold me out.”

Banton recorded the album’s 10 songs last year in Kingston, Jamaica, before his arrest at his Miami-area home on a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. A grand jury indictment also charged him with carrying a firearm during the course of a drug trafficking crime.

Rastafarian wins appeal against conviction in marijuana case in Italy

Rastafarianism Italy’s highest criminal court has ruled that the fact Rastafarians consider marijuana use a religious sacrament should be taken into account if they are tried on trafficking charges, lawyers in a recent case and news reports said Friday.

The Court of Cassation threw out the drug trafficking conviction of a 44-year-old Italian Rastafarian, ruling that the amount he possessed was in line with the heavy use that comes with his religious beliefs.

Judge Doesn’t Buy That Marijuana Is A ‘God-Given Right’

As a Rastafarian who believes that selling, trading and possessing marijuana is “a God-given right,” Smith had asked his lawyer to argue his point of view in an attempt to reduce the state’s recommended sentence.

For Ethiopia’s Rastafarians, a promise still not fully kept

Almost half a century after the first 12 Caribbean settlers migrated to Ethiopia, advancing a Rastafarian dream that the world’s African diaspora must return to the spiritual motherland, few if any Rastas have been granted citizenship.

Pay up for raid on Rasta temple

Rastas will receive thousands of pounds in compensation after cops wrecked their temple in a drugs raid.

London police raid Rastafarian temple

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “These premises have been used in part as a Rastafarian temple, however, it is believed that a high level of serious criminality has been operating from here which is adversely affecting the local communities.”

Rastafarian rips treatment at county jail

Indigo Freemanvibe, who claims to be a spiritual leader within the Rastafarian sect, contends that she has been subjected to civil rights violations by jail guards who have demanded she remove her head wrap before entering the prison to visit her husband.

Rastafarian files beard bias suit against UPS

Chicago (Reuters) – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has sued United Parcel Service Inc. on behalf of a Rastafarian, claiming UPS discriminated against his religion by refusing him a job because of his beard. The lawsuit, filed Monday in the New Jersey district court in Newark, claims that Ronnis Mason was refused a […]

Large congregation pays last tribute to Rastafarian patriarch, Mortimo Planno

In death, as in life, Mortimo St George Planno brought the various strands of the Rastafarian movement together, at a packed thanksgiving service remembering his life and work yesterday at the Holy Trinity Ethiopian Orthodox Church, 89 Maxfield Avenue in Kingston. And although he was not a member of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, Planno, […]

Founder of Rastafarianism, Mortimo Planno, dies

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Mortimo Planno, a philosopher regarded as a key figure in the development of the Rastafarian religion, has died. He was 85. Planno died Monday at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, after suffering complications from a thyroid condition, said Barry Chevannes, a longtime friend and anthropology professor at the university. […]

Rasta man ‘dreadlocked’ about two wives

A polygamous Rastafarian police inspector is contemplating taking the department of home affairs to court for the department’s refusal to issue marriage certificates to him and his two wives. Zenzele Dlomo of Dundee, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, married his wives – Nokuthula, 28 and Makhosi, 38 – three years ago, and still does not have marriage […]

Man grows his own cannabis for ‘religious purposes’

When the police forced their way into a Rugby man’s home to arrest him for driving at a traffic warden they found more than 280 cannabis plants in various states of maturity. And a forensic expert who examined the crop believed it was capable of yielding four kilos of herbal, cannabis Warwick Crown Court was […]

Rasta lawyer to petition UN for right to dope

From Cape Town, to Jozi, to Banjul and now Geneva, there is no stopping Rastafari lawyer Gareth Prince in his cross-continental fight to be admitted as a practising attorney and for Rastafarians to be allowed to use cannabis. Prince and his team are flying high in their legal battles and will now petition the United […]

Africa unites for Bob Marley celebrations

Addis Ababa – Celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the birth of the late reggae superstar Bob Marley have moved into full swing. Art and photo exhibitions, as well as a symposium on African history based on themes in the music legend’s songs, opened on Wednesday. Thousands of reggae fans and dreadlocked followers of […]

Marley ‘re-burial’ plans denied

The widow of reggae legend Bob Marley has distanced herself from reports that she plans to exhume his remains in Jamaica and re-bury them in Ethiopia. Rita Marley was reported as saying the ceremony would take place in February to coincide with celebrations marking 60 years since the singer’s birth. But Rita, who is currently […]

Ethiopian reburial for Bob Marley 23 years on

The remains of Bob Marley, whose lyrics became the rallying cry of black liberationists in the Third World and dope-smoking students in the West, are to be reburied in Ethiopia 23 years after his death. Marley’s widow, Rita, said yesterday her husband’s remains would be exhumed from his grave in Jamaica and laid to rest […]

Two marijuana proponents convicted of possession

Two proponents of legalizing marijuana were convicted yesterday of misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana during three protests at Independence National Historical Park after a federal judge rejected their claim that smoking was constitutionally protected because they are Rastafarians. Edward Forchion, 40, a perennial political candidate from Browns Mills in Burlington County who goes by […]

‘Weedman’ sues, says he was fired for his beliefs

A Burlington County man has filed a lawsuit against a former employer he claims fired him after learning of his political views and religious beliefs. Ed Forchion, of the Browns Mills section of Pemberton Township, who professes Rastafarianism, claims CD & L shipping of Hackensack fired him Sept. 7 after a supervisor saw him on […]

Dagga plan up in smoke?

Knysna – It seems as if the idea for the first Amsterdam-style coffee shop in South Africa is going up in smoke. Amsterdam is renowned for its coffee shops where caffeine takes a backseat to marijuana. In June, News24 carried a report on the plans of Rastafarians of the Boboshanti branch in Khayalethu, Knysna, to […]
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