2018 International Religious Freedom Report (Rastafari)

In the Bahamas, Rastafarians said the government discriminated against them because of their use of marijuana and dreadlocks. Rastafarians continued to be arrested for possessing small quantities of marijuana they used in ceremonial... Read more
In the Bahamas, Rastafarians said the government discriminated against them because of their use of marijuana and dreadlocks. Rastafarians continued to be arrested for possessing small quantities of marijuana they used in ceremonial rituals and subjected to having their hair (locks) cut in prison. Rastafarians stated officials required family members of Rastafarian prisoners to pay to receive a vegetarian diet while in prison. Rastafarians also said the government discriminated against them in discussions on the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use. In St. Lucia, Rastafarian community representatives reported their reluctance to use marijuana for religious purposes because marijuana use was illegal and subject to punitive fines. Rastafarians said they continued to face discrimination in the school system because the Ministry of Education required vaccinations for all children attending school; Rastafarians continued to oppose vaccination, which they stated was part of their religious beliefs. Government officials and Rastafarian community members said some Rastafarian families decided to vaccinate their children or to homeschool. They also reported national insurance plans did not cover traditional doctors used by the Rastafarian community. Read less
Washington, DC ( Global)
June 25, 2019

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