Grammy-winning Reggae superstar Ziggy Marley took to Instagram to blast the Singapore Government over plans to execute a man for marijuana possession.
The Singaporean man, Omar Yacob Bamadhaj, 41, was sentenced to death by hanging in February after authorities found him with 2 pounds of cannabis, which is considered a Grade A drug in the Southeast Asian country. Singapore’s apex court dismissed Bamadhaj’s appeal on Tuesday, Channel News Asia reported.
Reacting to the reports on Instagram today, Ziggy wrote, “So the government of #singapore is going to kill a human being for two pounds of cannabis. Is that just or moral?”
The Dragonfly singer asked the question, “Singapore what are you doing?” before registering his dissatisfaction with both the use of word “drug” in the news coverage and the sentencing.
“The article says the “drug” not the plant, still trying to sell us that line still trying to fool the people still killing the people for a plant. F’ing ridiculous in any time or place its 2021. Its illegal in that country I get it but to kill a person for that should also be ILLEGAL on the planet EARTH”
“Calling on all companies and individuals in the US and around the world who are profiting from the cultivation and commercialization of cannabis to speak out about this injustice and to call out Singapore for this despicable act of taking a human life for possessing the plant,” he added.
Marley continued, “This is the type of sh-t that flies under the radar and allows countries and governments to continue to uphold inhumane, unjust, immoral laws with no accountability and no consequences every injustice that befalls any human being should be addressed and brought to light.”
Reggae Singer Jesse Royal responded in favor, “Wrong On Every Level”.
Over the years, Ziggy has been an advocate for Marijuana use. In 2012, he wrote a book titled Marijuanaman. A song of the same name was one of the more popular tracks on his 2016 Grammy-winning self-titled album.
In 2019, the 53-year-old son of reggae legend Bob Marley, revealed that his father allowed him to start smoking weed at the tender age of 9. “I can’t even remember when I had my first “spliff”, I was around nine. I was very young, too young,” he told the UK’s Daily Mail.
Ziggy said he thought his father had made a mistake by allowing him to smoke at that age, but reportedly conceded that it was part of his (Rastafarian) culture.
“When I first consciously decided to smoke weed as a teenager, I approached it from a spiritual point of view,” the platinum reggae singer clarified. “It’s given me more insight into myself and into my spirituality, and I use it as a form of influence when reading scriptures and books about spirituality. I use it to give me a different perspective so that my mind isn’t in the same place that it normally is. I turn into a shaman.”
“It was never just about getting high – I educated myself about it in terms of how Yogis in India use it and I went down that route with it, I didn’t go down the ‘fun’ route.”
Singapore, along with Saudi Arabia and Iran, have the world’s strictest Marijuana policies that run antithetical to Ziggy’s culture and spirituality.
Several activists in the country who prefer to operate under anonymity got a breath of fresh air when the United Nations last year voted to remove cannabis from a global list of dangerous narcotic drugs. The government of Singapore took offense to the UN’s 27 member countries that voted in favor, including the US, UK and Canada.
According to Vice, Singapore’s Ministry Of Home Affairs stated, “This could send a wrong signal that the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) has softened its stance against cannabis and fuel public misperception, especially among youths, that cannabis is no longer considered to be as harmful as before, despite strong evidence showing otherwise”.
25 member states opposed including Russia, China, Pakistan, and Indonesia.
K. Shanmugam, the Minister of Home Affairs told a local news agency, “Companies see a huge amount of profit and a very invidious idea that cannabis is not harmful is being pushed. But the evidence that it is harmful is quite substantive.”
When reporters asked him to comment on Singapore’s current drug situation, Mr Shanmugam concluded: “You can never win the fight. But, we more or less have it under control.”
Cannabis in Singapore is currently illegal for recreational purposes, but in recent years medicinal purposes have been allowed under extraordinary circumstances.