“Excuse me while I light my spliff.”
Marley, both a champion of civil rights in his homeland as well as cultural spokesperson for ganja use, was never shy about his beliefs as a Rastafarian and an herb smoker.
“Herb. Herb is a plant. I mean, herbs are good for everything. Why these people who want to do so much good for everyone who call themselves governments and this and that, why them say you must not use the herb? Them say you must not use it because it make you rebel. Against what? Against men who … crave material things. Them want to captivate your mind and tell you say: You have to work and we put you on pension and him keep it all. Herb make you look ‘pon yourself and instead of you want to work for the man, you want fi be one of the man. Not in the sense of how it is, but in the sense of ‘Why should you have to bow to these things?'”
Marley died at the age of 36 due to the spread of melanoma through his body, finally taking over his brain and lungs on May 11, 1981. Marley was given a state funeral and is still considered as one of the most powerful figures in Jamaican history both through his music and his political activism in that country. Today, he is one of the few artists to transcend time – his music sounds as alive and fresh as the day it was released.
Check out Marley in his element on stage live in Santa Barbara from 1979 for your listening and viewing pleasure.