Rastafarians in Jamaica such as rasta priest Ras Moya will soon be smoke cannabis legally
Rastafarians in Jamaica such as rasta priest Ras Moya may soon be able to smoke cannabis legally Getty

Jamaica has approved a bill that legalises the possession of a marijuana for the first time in 100 years.

The Cabinet has approved the bill, meaning that the country's Rastafarians could have the legal right to smoke the drug if it gets the Senate's approval later this week.

The bill also outlines a plan to create a licensing authority for the farming, distribution and sale of the product for therapeutic and medical purposes. However, the bill proposes that smoking marijuana in public spaces should remain banned.

Marijuana in Jamaica has been a sticky topic considering that 5% of the country's population is of the Rastafarian religion. Rastafarians smoke marijuana to heighten their spiritual state and also to promote a sense of community.

When discussions on legalising marijuana in Jamaica took a step forward in October, the country's Drug Policy Alliance spokesman Ethan Nadelmann told PA: "[It's] both noteworthy in that Jamaica is reforming policies on possession, religious use and medical use at more or less the same time, and politically important in providing leadership in the Caribbean."

Nadelmann added that this was a "significant step forward".