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Bob Marley: Statue of reggae icon unveiled in Jamaica

Decades after his tragic death, Bop Marley has received his very own statue.

A new life-size sculpture of the reggae legend has been unveiled to mark what would have been his 70th birthday.

An effigy of the No Woman, No Cry hitmaker captures him dancing and singing while holding a guitar. It was unveiled in Trench Town, where the musician and his family moved when he was 12 years old.

The statue forms part of a multi-million dollar renovation to the area’s Culture Yard, and capped a weekend of events and parties held on the Caribbean island to celebrate the life and work of the acclaimed musician.

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism of Entertainment Dr. Wykeham MCNeill hopes the statue will serve as inspiration to youngsters trying to pursue their dreams. Read more

Jamaican Senate Says Yes To Marijuana On Bob Marley’s Birthday

Jamaica took one step closer to decriminalizing marijuana and it couldn’t have happened on a more fitting day — the birthday of Jamaican reggae superstar Bob Marley, whose public embrace of cannabis made him nearly synonymous with the culture of the plant.

On Friday, the Jamaican Senate passed a bill to decriminalize marijuana for medical, religious and scientific purposes. The bill, which would amend the country’s Dangerous Drugs Act, would reduce possession of two ounces or less of marijuana for personal use to a ticketable offense, rather than a criminal one. Cultivation of up to five plants would be permitted. Under current Jamaican law, marijuana possession charges can lead to as much as five years in prison and a fine.

Registered health professionals would also be able to prescribe cannabis for various ailments, and accredited institutions could conduct scientific research with the plant. For the first time, Rastafarians — members of a spiritual movement founded on the island that sees cannabis use as a sacrament — would be able to legally smoke the substance for religious purposes, according to the Jamaica Information Service.

“The objective is to provide a more enlightened approach to dealing with possession of small quantities and smoking, while still meeting the ends of justice,” wrote Jamaican Minister of Justice Mark Goldberg when he announced the measure last year. “The proposed changes represent an approach which will enure to the benefit of the persons concerned and the society as a whole, and reduce the burdens on the court system.” Read more

Backstage at Jamaica’s Joyous Bob Marley Birthday Celebrations

Reggae’s biggest stars celebrate the late singer’s life with a weekend of performances both massive and intimate

Kingston, Jamaica, paid tribute to its most famous son this weekend, celebrating what would have been the 70th birthday of Bob Marley with a series of live events that featured the singer’s sons, former collaborators and the island’s newest wave of socially conscious reggae performers. Saturday night, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley headlined Redemption Live!, a free show that attracted several thousand to Kingston’s downtown waterfront. And on Friday, the Bob Marley Museum — Bob’s former home at 56 Hope Road — was the venue for a series of informal jam sessions and performances featuring “Marley 70 ambassadors” Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid and No-Maddz.
In a fitting development, Jamaica’s Senate also passed legislation that reduces the possession of small amounts of marijuana to a ticketable, non-criminal offense not punishable by jail time, establishing the legal basis for a regulated medical marijuana industry. Damian Marley took the opportunity to address this news during his performance on Saturday night, calling for full-on legalization. Read more