Rastafarians have been edifying worldwide benefits of the sacramental herb and many reggae artists like Bob Marley have carried the plants liberation message to the four corners of the earth, yet ganja has remained illegal in Jamaica. Since 2003, Stepping High Festival has been exhibiting Jamaica’s outstanding Ganja cultivation in Negril, according to a press release. This one-of-a-kind ganja competition which displays the rich variety of Jamaica’s natural strains was only permitted to exist as a hush-hush word of mouth event among scores of tourists and local area residents, according to Citi Lyfe. Now you know why you haven’t heard of this event until now.
Jamaica is the premiere Caribbean supplier of marijuana to the US, yet ironically the US is progressively ahead of Jamaica in legalization. While a landmark Bill that seeks to decriminalise ganja for medicinal, religious, and private use in Jamaica was tabled in the Senate late last month. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana or decriminalized marijuana possession.
It’s no secret that tourists have been visiting the island for decades to experience its beautiful pristine white sand beaches, to relax and to “indulge” in ganja culture. So even while Stepping High has many great activities, the highlight of the Festival has been the showcasing and judging of herb that allows attendees to participate in the judging competition of a wide variety of ganja strains all vying for first place best in show.
This year the organizers say invitation is extended to all to attend the festival’s 12th staging, which kicks off on Saturday, March 7 on Cayenne Beach in Negril, Jamaica and run through Sunday, March 8, 2015. The theme year is “together in oneness” which effectively conveys the message of unity as the festival is moving towards its next stage of evolution in the beautiful country where the national slogan is “out of many, one people.”
This is a testament to the foresight and advocacy of producers in an international environment that is only now beginning to show favorable approval for the development of cannabis industries. Arguably, Stepping High has come of age and finally able to shed its cumbersome underground cocoon that will allow it to continue spreading the message that ganja use has multiple healthy and productive benefits.
Legendary artist and staunch cannabis advocate Bunny Wailer and popular reggae artist I-Wayne are both confirmed for the two day festival which features a multicultural lineup. Organizers promise performances by many others who will be announced in upcoming weeks, which will also include up-and-coming artists, live bands and selectors. They also asserted the festival attracts an array of food vendors serving scrumptious vegetarian dishes, freshly prepared seafood, and extra-special laced dessert treats; a range of artisans who will be on hand selling everything from original sculptured works of art to T-shirts; special service providers such as holistic practitioners will more than likely be on hand too.