The History of Rastafari

Lester Kiewit spoke with Gareth Prince, Rastafarian lawyer and activist

*Gareth Prince is a Rastafarian and a lawyer who has been fighting for decades to have dagga decriminalised.

Rastafarian lawyer and activist, Gareth Prince. Picture: CapeTalk
Rastafarian lawyer and activist, Gareth Prince. Picture: CapeTalk

Gareth Prince has been fighting for the decriminalisation of cannabis for over two decades, all in the name of religious principle. The seeds for that battle began in the late 80s when he was first arrested for possession of cannabis outside his Kraaifontein home. The battle, though, would begin in earnest a decade later, when he wasn’t allowed admission to the Cape Law Society because of that earlier arrest for possession.

Over the years, through various legal battles and activist movements, Prince has been unwavering in his pursuit to have cannabis legally recognised as the sacrament of the Rastafari religion. In 2018, that battle scored a hard-earned victory when Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo handed down the Constitutional Court’s decision to decriminalise the personal and private use of cannabis.

Lester Kiewit invited Gareth Prince onto the Morning Review Show to speak about his faith and the battle that took up years of his life.

We partake of cannabis as our sacrament. Whereas in the majority of Christian churches they use alcohol as a sacrament or a grape juice in some of them but the Rastafari prefers to use cannabis as a sacrament or as their connection to godliness.

Gareth Prince, Rastafarian lawyer and activist

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