Jazzfest Preview: Ziggy’s solution – Marley is standing up for the civil rights of the ‘herb’

BY LYNN SAXBERG, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN

Ziggy Marley will play Ottawa Jazz Festival June 26, 2012

Ziggy Marley will play Ottawa Jazz Festival June 26, 2012

Ziggy Marley has been openly crusading for the rights of a plant ever since the release of his fourth and latest album, Wild and Free, last summer. A breezy duet with actor Woody Harrelson, the title track envisions fields of hemp growing wild and free, set in a landscape of lilting roots-reggae.

“The herb,” Marley says, warming up to a recent phone interview, “Cannabis, hemp, marijuana, whatever name you want to use. I was into learning more about it, and trying to understand why the world is not taking advantage of it as a natural resource. It was a big influence on the record, the idea of hemp and growing hemp.”

A year later, fields of hemp are still not growing wild and free, but Marley doesn’t sound like he’s giving up. “It’s almost like a civil rights issue,” he says, chuckling at the comparison. “In the plant world, this plant is like the black people back in the day. I’m standing up for the civil rights of a plant.”

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