Well, it certainly was not to provide inspiration to thousands of suburban teenagers after his death, that's pretty clear. Marley himself used marijuana ("ganja") as a religious sacrament, and advocated for the rights of Rastas to smoke marijuana for that reason. The question is, is there irony in the fact that hordes of teenaged middle-class Americans semi-worship Marley as an iconic pot smoker, when in fact the Rastafarian belief system views middle-class America as Babylon, an evil world built on the back of centuries of slavery and African oppression?
I'm inclined to think that Marley would've appreciated the worldwide respect that his music still garners, and would be happy to know that his messages of peace, pacifism, and social justice continue to ring out, but I can't quite bring myself to think that he would've approved of all the gratuitous and casual usage of marijuana in his "honor" that happens all over the world, mostly by non-Rastas (and sometimes by young quasi-Rastas, who often seem to be trying to rationalize their illegal behavior by a half-hearted adherence to just one or two tenets of the religion). What do you think? Leave a comment and join the conversation!