Reggae legend Bob Marley, who passed away in 1981 at 36, was often seen toking on marijuana, whether in the studio, out of the studio or in his leisure time. These days he’s seen smoking in many old photos and posters.
Meanwhile, the late singer’s eldest son with Rita Marley, Ziggy Marley, began lighting up at just 9 years old, which is something he revealed to Reader’s Digest, according to the Daily Mail. And it was done with his father’s complete blessing.
“Smoking marijuana wasn’t considered a bad thing in Rastafarian culture,” said Ziggy Marley, who’s now 50. “It wasn’t something to hide from the kids. I can’t even remember when I had my first spliff. I was around 9. I was very young, too young.”
Ziggy Marley now has several children of his own, which may have given him another perspective on smoking weed at such a young age. Because he implied his dad made the wrong call, but he didn’t cast any blame. Instead, he chalked it up to their religion.
Rastafarianism began in Jamaica in the 1930s, and it’s based on the belief that former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie was the second coming of Jesus Christ. They also believe Selassie was a descendant of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
“I wouldn’t have let myself do it in my father’s place, but it was a part of our religion,” Ziggy Marley explained. “We’re one of those ancient cultures with traditions that modern society wouldn’t accept.”
The “Tomorrow People” singer also emphasized that when he took more of a conscious step towards smoking marijuana as a teen, he used it for spiritual enhancement and to widen his perspective on things.
“When I first consciously decided to smoke weed as a teenager, I approached it from a spiritual point of view,” he explained.
“It’s given me more insight into myself and into my spirituality, and I use it as a form of influence when reading scriptures and books about spirituality,” added Ziggy. “I use it to give me a different perspective so that my mind isn’t in the same place that it normally is. I turn into a shaman.”
“It was never just about getting high,” he continued. “I educated myself about it in terms of how Yogis in India use it, and I went down that route with it. I didn’t go down the fun route.”