Bob Marley: The Marijuana VIP

Heroes of the cannabis industry were featured in the latter articles. This time, the article features the globally renowned Bob Marley. Information on how the good man influenced and worked for the cannabis industry is incorporated in this reading.

Continue reading and have a sneak peek of the wonderful life of Bob Marley and his cannabis journey.

Who is Bob Marley?

Bob Marley is a Jamaican songwriter, singer, and musician. He was the world ambassador for reggae music. His albums sold out over 20 million records in the duration of his career.

Bob Marley was known globally for his iconic reggae music. In the 1970s t0 1980s, he and his band took fame and conquered the global stage. Together with his music, he changed history and shed a bright light on cannabis.

Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley was born in Nine Mile, Jamaica, in 1945. He had a childhood friend named “Bunny” O’Riley Livingston, otherwise known as Bunny Wailer. At 12 years old, they both moved to Trenchtown, Kingston. From that time, the musical journey of the two began.

In 1960, Bob Marley converted to Rastafari. He was linked to the mansions of Rastafari. By then, he began incorporating Rastafari in his music. This is the turning point of Bob’s lasting Bond With Jah And Cannabis.

Bob Marley And His Music

Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer were good friends who both have a passion for music. They would usually listen to music and create experimental vocals together. Upon moving to Trench Town, their musical experimentation began deeper.

By that time, R&B and Ska music started to hit the music industry. It becomes popular in Jamaica through the American radio stations, which signal has reached the island. 

They soon started to meet like-minded individuals in Kingston. Among the people they met were Peter Tosh, Beverly Kelso, and Junior Braithwaite. As they collaborated with their musical experiments, the group did not play any instrument. They experimented with harmonies and focused on forming a vocal group.

The group started to follow Higgs and Wilson, who were popular local vocal duo by that time. Eventually, they met Joe Higgs. They approached Joe and lay their plan of forming a local group. Joe agreed. Later on, they formed a group, and Bob was trained to play the guitar. 

Unknowingly, this provided Bob with the foundations behind the best and the biggest-selling reggae songs in the history of the genre.

In the 1960s, Bob started to have contacts in the local music scene. Two years after, he was able to record four songs for Leslie Kong. The songs Judge Not, Do you still love me, and Terror were released under Beverley while One cup of coffee was released under the pseudonym, Bobby Martell.

Continuing their music journey, Marley, Wailer, Tosh, and Braithwaite, together with Cherry Smith, formed “Teenagers.” They became active on the local scene in 1963 then changed their name to “The Wailing Wailers.” Under this new name, the band grabbed the attention of local producer Coxsone Dodd. Eventually, the band changed its name to “The Wailers” within the year 1963 – 1964.

The Wailer's Music Journey Continues

When they started working with Dodd, the band released Simmer Down. It became an instant hit that topped Jamaican charts and sold 70,000 copies. Later on, the bands started to work with known Jamaican musicians and were able to release the band’s first studio album.

Sadly, in 1965, the band lost the three original members. However, the band continued its journey in the music industry. They worked with Lee “Scratch” Perry and The Upsetters band. Again, they conquered the music industry by producing another hit.

In the 1970s, the band released several iconic records. This includes Soul Rebels, Catch a Fire, Burnin’, and Natty Dread. This time, they transferred to Island Records.

In the 1980s, they released classic records, including Exodus, Kaya, Survival, Rastaman Vibration, Uprising, and Survival. 

In 1983, they released the last album – Confrontation.

Bob Marley and Rastafari

Rastafarianism is the key to understand Bob Marley’s inclination to marijuana. 

Rastafari is a movement amongst the poor-working class of the Afro-Jamaican communities. It was founded in the 1930s and was part of the political and social movements, including The Back to Africa Movement and rebellion against British Colonialism.

Meanwhile, Cannabis played a key role in Rastafari. It is one of the distinctions of the Rasta movement that shocked the western society in the 1960s and 1970s.

Included in the Rastafari movement are beliefs and practices. Among the practices during rituals is the use of cannabis as part of the routine. This ritual is done during “groundings” when members come together to discuss each religion, its interpretation, and its relevance to current events. The movement also has constant meditation and reflection.

Bob Marley And His Connection To Cannabis

An iconic image showed Bob smoking a big spliff. Notably, this portrayed Bob’s deep connection with cannabis. 

Being associated with Rastafari, Bob created a deeper connection with the plant. As practiced in their movement, they regularly consume “ganja.” Consumption is through ingesting, smoking, or blending it with meals and teas. While some believed that “ganja” should not be used for religious, spiritual, and meditative purposes, others continue to use it recreationally.

Upon his conversion to Rastafarianism in 1966, Bob quickly became an advocate of the herb. According to him and the other members of the movement, the weed is more than just a drug that causes intoxication and euphoria. It is a powerful substance that helps mind functions and aid during meditation.

In one of his interviews, Bob shared his belief in the herb. He stated that the herb helps in revealing the self. It helps people realize their wickedness and opens up your conscience through meditation.

Ganja influenced Bob’s creativity. For Bob, smoking cannabis is not like sitting on a couch and merely enjoying the “high.” Instead, he used it to boost his creative mind and formulate good thoughts. This led to the creation of Bob’s wonderful crafts.

Here is a short excerpt of Cedella, Bob’s daughter, on the effect of cannabis on her father’s craft:

“Creative inspiration was everything for my father — it was like breathing or life to him,” she said. “Every time he smoked, he was inspired and an open mind was the open door for his creative inspiration. He thought the herb was a gift.”

Letting Go Of A Hero

In 1977, Bob Marley was diagnosed with melanoma. Unfortunately, it was malignant. Staying faithful to his religious belief, he did not follow the doctor’s advice to amputate the toe. 

He continued his tours until 19080 throughout Europe and the United States.

1n 1981, he had a stopover in Miami for medical attention. Unfortunately, the medication did not work, and he died at the age of 36. 

He died with the parting words “money can’t buy you life.” Above all, he died, leaving the most prominent legacy in modern music history that inspired the succeeding generation.

Bob Marley And His Legacy

Bob was revolutionary. His visions and advocacy can be seen in his music and notable deeds. The meaning beyond his music is much more profound. According to his son, Bob Marley’s message remains relevant and powerful until today. 

Despite his passing, his family actively works to preserve his passion for cannabis. They also promote his view on the benefits of cannabis to humankind.

In 2014, his family joined an equity firm and launched a global brand of marijuana named Marley Natural.

Marley Natural produces a wide array of cannabis products in different strains and infused oils. The company boasts its herb line with products available in four categories. Users can choose among Marley Green Hybrid, Marley Gold Sativa, Marley Red CBD-rich, and Marley Black Indica. It also offers other cannabis products, such as accessories. 

On the other hand, his legacy in fighting against oppression continues. An organization was established by his family to honor him. The Bob Marley foundation caters to individuals and organizational needs, especially in developing nations.

Reminiscing Bob Marley’s Craft and Passion

An avid fan of Bob Marley would never delete any of his tracks in the playlist. Instead, he would prefer to add any of Bob Marley’s songs in the playlist.

Here are the top songs of Bob Marley that his supporters may want to listen to over and over again.

Stir it Up

This was recorded in 1967, and Johnny Nash released a cover version in 1972.

Get up, Stand up

Greatly moved by the lives of Haitians, Marley wrote this song after his tour in Haiti.

Sun is Shining

This is an unknown track during his lifetime. It gained popularity after Funkstar Deluxe sampled it in a dance track in 1999.

I shot the Sheriff

This was a big hit of Eric Clapton after creating a soft rock/reggae hybrid version.

Redemption Song

This is one of his most inspiring songs. The lyrics were drawn from Marcus Garvey, a Pan-Africanist speaker in his speech “The work that has been done.”