Rastafarians are a step closer to being able to legally use cannabis for the religious purposes.
Legislation is before parliament which allows for the use of cannabis for sacramental use.
Attorney General Dale Marshall, as he led off debate on the Sacramental Cannabis Bill 2019 says there are no arguments with respect to the faith as Barbados constitution guarantees individuals the freedom of conscience, in which the Freedom of Religion is enshrined.
Mr Marshall says government was moved by the passion presented by the Rastafarian community who pleaded their case and rights to utilize marijuana as part of the practice of their faith.
He doesn’t foresee people flocking to the embrace the Rastafarian faith just to smoke marijuana.
Mr Marshall says the legislation once passed allows for Rastas to smoke cannabis during their public events.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport Kerrie Symmonds welcomed the developments noting it brings closure to a persecuted community, allowing them to celebrate their sacrament in the same vein as other religions.
He says governments has made a number of commitments to the Rastafarian community in its 2018 election manifesto and is following through on promises made.