The Gleaner: KINGSTON, Jamaica, By Stephanie Lyew – From Peter Tosh’s Legalise It and Mighty Diamond’s Pass The Kouchie to Sean Paul’s We Be Burnin’ and Popcaan’s Weed Is My Best Friend, the reggae and dancehall genre has produced several lyrical smoking guns for the legalisation and decriminalisation of cannabis globally.

For many recording artistes, music and marijuana go hand-in-hand and has been an effective way for those who align themselves with, and advocate for the plant as a recreational, medicinal and spiritual tool, to educate the people.

Yaadcore has dedicated an entire project to cannabis culture.

Music has proven to be a powerful vehicle for social and economical change for the cannabis, which is still illegal or stigmatised in many countries. In recognition of 4/20 (April 20) which has been declared a day for cannabis celebrations worldwide, artistes continue to fuel the vehicle with their blazing and burning messages and rhythms.

Yaadcore, who, two years ago released the Nyquill (Spliff A Light Spliff), collaboration with Richie Spice has dedicated an entire project to cannabis culture. Playing on the word ‘treason’, he told The Gleaner, “the EP is titled Treesonable to highlight the deception and propaganda spread about herb, which is a plant like any that produces a fruit, flower or like other herbs that can be used for medicinal and cooking purposes”.

The recording artiste and producer also aired concerns about the government’s move to import Canadian cannabis into Jamaica. Though the government announced it would try to eliminate the need to import, “this should have not been an option in the first place because importation of herb into a country whose tourism thrives off people’s interest in marijuana, does not reflect well on us”, Yaadcore shared.

“We have local farmers suffering from a lack of opportunity and these persons are knowledgeable in growing the herb but just need the support and to be provided with licences locally. That alone is treason. This topic has not been discussed enough in our marijuana music. Though people are now allowed to have a certain amount in their possession and avoid criminal charges, we have a long way to go in developing the economic side of cannabis culture in Jamaica,” he continued.

The Treesonable EP has five tracks, with the collaboration with Richie Spice as a bonus. The first track Higher Meds speaks openly of a farmer’s experience, he revealed.

The Jamaican-Canadian collaboration between actor and music producer Johnoy ‘TV Boss’ Williams and dancehall artiste, Kalico, titled Clouds, speaks of the positive impact and effects of cannabis on a person’s mind and body when either smoked or infused into other products. Kalico, the songwriter and performer said that he wanted to create a song that could be enjoyed by a listener, even if a person does not partake in its usage.

“The melody, the rhythms and the clarity in the message is there for all to listen. I’m encouraged by all the steps being taken worldwide [to grow the cannabis business and remove the stigma] to make marijuana readily available for of-age consumers. Right now the stigma and limitations seem to only apply to Rastafarians and Jamaicans who are overall trying to get into the business because companies are profiting off something they once looked down on,” Kalico shared.

Showing their love and appreciation for marijuana, artistes like Dre Island and Bay-C have songs like Take Me High and Floating respectively, and music selector Jazzy T has also teamed up with international artiste Cappa Caliente for High Influence with an aim to get their listeners high off creativity and ready for the 4/20 celebrations.

Dre Island’s track was included on his 2022 High Times album but he is prepared to release the video which plays upon the dopamine release one can get “from indulging in herb as well as being in love”, all in celebration of 4/20.

“It’s high times for our local cannabis culture, and Take Me High is all about how the plant and life itself has inspired persons to rise to the occasion, and achieve excellence. Like our musicians, our marijuana farmers, Rastafarians, as well as the regular man or woman who may utilise weed, it’s a simple meditation for high times,” Dre Island said.

The track by Bay-C is an upbeat, dance tune purposely produced to spark good vibrations with listeners whether or not they are consumers of cannabis.

Top Feature Photo: Rasta and High Times: The Jamaican World Cannabis Cup – Cannabis Digest