Take a first-hand journey through the decriminalization of cannabis and the way forward toward legalization at this year’s Rastafari Rootzfest. “Jamaica hopes to do with ganja what California has done with wine, and build a lifestyle experience around it,” says Andrea Davis, founder of International Reggae Day and one of this year’s hosts. And that lifestyle includes the richness of Jamaican culture, including organic food and ganja, wellness and beauty rituals, Rasta livity, and of course the music.

This year’s three-day festival held from December 9-11 will be hosted in Negril, one of Jamaica’s most popular and beautiful destinations – famous for its uninterrupted stretch of 7-mile beachfront – and a global ganja capital. The event will feature live music nightly, a Rasta village, a range of handcrafted items, and delicious Ital food. It will climax with the Rastafari Rootzfest Ganjamaica Cup awards ceremony on the final day.

The importance and significance of the Rootzfest is that it’s the first legal event in Jamaica since the decriminalization of ganja. The fact that the Jamaican government is sponsoring it is a big, bold step forward and bodes well for Jamaica gaining momentum toward legalization.

The Rastafari Rootzfest Ganjamaica Cup will judge top entries from growers across Jamaica by a panel of local and international experts.  They will quantify and qualify classic traditional Jamaican ganja strains destined to become commercially successful products with the further relaxation of Jamaica’s cannabis laws. This is ultimately a celebration of Jamaica’s historical connection to ganja and the protection of Rastafari’s sacramental rights under the law.

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