Rastafari 2

Members of the V.I. Rastafari Sacramental Cannabis Council meet with Gov. Albert Bryan Jr., Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach and Agriculture Commissioner Positive Nelson last week at the Public Finance Authority building on St. Thomas. The council sought to discuss social and economic justice as the territory begins to launch a medicinal cannabis industry.

ST. THOMAS — V.I. government efforts to create, regulate and ultimately cash in on a now-legal medical marijuana industry have many in the local Rastafari community feeling left out and embittered.

Rastafarians, who have long embraced the indigenous cannabis plant as a sacrament, and faced persecution and prosecution as a result, are now looking for justice — both economic and social — as the territory slowly warms to cannabis as a profitable, medicinal herb and less as a street drug.

— Contact A.J. Rao at 340-714-9104 or email ajrao@dailynews.vi.