Ky-Mani Marley focuses on education and freedom of thought
By Tyler Davidson
The offspring of the legendary Bob Marley have been hard at work making names for themselves for years, and Ky-Mani Marley, the only child of Marley and table tennis great Anita Belnavis, is no different. Last year, Marley’s memoirs, Dear Dad: Where’s the Family in our Family, Today?, was released to a fair deal of controversy when Ky-Mani accused publisher Dr. Farrah Gray of twisting his story. The two eventually came to an agreement and Ky-Mani hasn’t looked back since. CULTURE recently spoke with Ky-Mani about his charity, the Love Over All Foundation, an organization dedicated to “promoting positive change in low socioeconomic communities,” his upcoming album Evolution of a Revolution and more.
Regarding your Love Over All Foundation, was there any one specific event that prompted you to start the foundation?
Yeah, actually, going back to my school where I was as a child and walking around the school after not [having been] back in so many years. Going there to see the condition that a lot of the children were in as far as . . . you know, dirty uniforms, the heels of their shoes are falling off, to find that there’s still 30 percent of children who are not in school [because they] can’t afford tuition, can’t afford lunch money, who can’t afford uniforms, and that was sad because, you know, in life, most important is education. With an education, the possibilities are endless. So there are a lot of children being deprived of that just because they can’t afford it, and it wasn’t a lot of money, so that really motivated me to want to be [someone] that gave these children a chance, that gave them an opportunity to maybe even discover something about themselves that they themselves don’t know that they have. For me, it was simple. I just wanted to be somebody that could help make changes.
As far as Evolution of a Revolution is concerned, how would you say it differs from your past releases?
Wow. You know me, I’m always pushing the envelope . . . For me, the next one always has to be better than the last one. With this album, I’m doing a double-CD. The Revolution [part] is really a follow-up to [2007’s] Radio, that part of the CD is a follow-up to Radio. It’s kind of hip-hoppy, with, I guess, a touch of R&B influences there. And then the Evolution side of it is where reggae meets like soft rock meets alternative. I’d like to consider that part of it music that speaks to the soul. Music that you sit and listen to and hopefully can take something from.
What do you think it will take for marijuana to be legalized?
Wow. I thought we came pretty close the other day [with Proposition 19], wasn’t it? In the whole voting thing? So hopefully it will just take a few more people to wake up and realize the necessity of this . . . My father said, in an interview I’ve listened to over and over again, that what herb did for him was give him freedom of thought, you know what I mean? And that’s a dangerous thing, especially when you’re in a society where the heads of government want to control you. So, to know that this herb will actually give [people] the freedom of thought and [will] to be independent, because that’s what herb gives you, too, it makes you want to be independent. It makes you want to do your own thing and not work for somebody else. But I think in due time. Not before its time.
What sort of a role does marijuana play in your life, personally?
Oh my, it plays every role in my life. I wake up to it, I’m with herb right through the day and before I go to bed at night. It really keeps me focused. It’s my meditation. I’d like to call it my escape from the world, but it’s not an escape from the world. This is my reality. This is what allows me to deal with what’s going on in the world and what’s taking place day in, day out.
Contrary to what you might think, Ky-Mani Marley had no interest in following his famous father’s footsteps and pursuing a musical career at first. Instead, the son of Tuff Gong leaned more towards sports, namely soccer and footbal. But when he teamed up with Pras of The Fugees in 1997 and collaborated with Eddy Grant, everything changed. What the sports world lost, the world of music gained.
Top Shelf | Washington
13724 Canyon Rd.
E., Puyallup, 98373
Phone: (541) 389-1043
Owners, Management and Staff
the story behind the name of your access point? The whole thing behind the name
is we just wanted to have a place that lives up to its name and reputation of “Top
Shelf.” With my conditions, I have to consume clean medicine. It has to be
grown properly, flushed properly . . . the whole nine yards. If it isn’t, I can
have extreme allergic reactions to the nutrients and/or pesticides still left
in the flower. It’s just one of those things where I wanted to provide
consistent, quality, proper flowers for both myself and our patients.
Whatdoes your access point offer patients that they can’t find anywhere else?
Here at Top Shelf, we provide a down home, easy feel to the place. Our patient interactions are never
rushed, and all of our patients comment on how comfortable and relaxed they
feel at our shop. We even have male patients that come in and say “Ok, I’m
going to bring my girlfriend/spouse here now, I always go in and check out
these places first to make sure it’s safe. She’ll like this place, I’m bringing
her in.” We hope to offer educational classes/seminars for those who want to
learn more about cultivation, cooking with cannabis and more.
Howhas the cannabis industry changed since you’ve been here? Where would you like
to see it go? I
would like to see us do more of something like Colorado where if you want to be
on the medical side you have to produce your own product. This would eliminate
a lot of the middle men out there, if you want to do this—and you need to know
what you’re doing (e.g. cultivation of cannabis). We would like to see mandatory
testing of all medicinal products on shelves, which is something we feel will
be mandatory soon anyway. We encourage all vendors to have their products
tested if they are going to be consumed by patients. We would also like to see
a fair market price on medical cannabis, and not see medical cannabis taxed out
of affordability for low income patients that need clean, safe and effective
Whatis the most important thing you hope to accomplish in the industry?
Helping people; hoping
to make a positive impact in the lives of the patients that come to our access
point. Also trying to get patients off a lot of these pharmaceuticals that are
so toxic and damaging to our bodies with long term use. Creating natural
remedies daily, offering a safe, alternative pathway to healing for our patients.
Sweet Leaf Illusions | Oregon
Collective Name: Sweet Leaf Illusions
Address: 8434 SE 82nd Ave., Portland, 97266
What’s the story behind the name of your dispensary?
trying to figure out a name that no one else had. We didn’t want to do the same
thing that every other company has done. And so we came up with Sweet Leaf
Illusions, me and Ian, one of our employee budtenders here. And the next thing
we know, after we got our license, four days later, there were a whole bunch of
Sweet Leaf companies. I guess they liked the name too.
How has the cannabis industry changed since you
have been in the business? Where would you like to see it go? I think the testing
companies should be held liable for their testing results. As it is now, if a
patient gets sick on a product that had been tested but still had contaminants,
it is the dispensary that is liable.
What are the biggest challenges you face in this
industry as a dispensary? . . . Biggest joys?
Trusting the testing companies results that are coming out. They are saying that the
product is clean when you know that they haven’t tested for, probably, about 15
other pesticides. I want them to be in compliance, like dispensaries have to be
with the state. And have the state going after them to see that they are doing
their job, so they keep putting it all on the dispensary owner to verify that
the products are clean. Our biggest joy is really just helping the sick people
that come in. I can’t leave the patients I’ve gotten to know.
What is the one thing you want patients to know
about your dispensary? I pretty much quiz all of our vendors to verify that their product is
clean. I only take the few vendors that test and I try to ensure that they are
the cleanest products you can get.
What is the most important thing you hope to
accomplish while in the MJ/MMJ community?
needs to start doing inspections of the testing companies. They should spray
flowers with poisons and send them through (like a control test), to at least
verify that they are in compliance with the state law that the state put in,
that they are supposed to test for all pesticides. They need to find out that
they are not testing for pesticides that we all know have been around for
Available at Point Loma Patients Consumer Cooperative in Point Loma.The Tokyo OG from PLPCC is a real stand out due to its darker green coloring and dark red hairs. The nose is slightly earthy, a
Available at Point Loma Patients Consumer Cooperative in Point Loma.
The Tokyo OG from PLPCC is a real stand out due to its darker green coloring and dark red hairs. The nose is slightly earthy, and very skunky and oily. Its flavor is really earthy and pungent, not at all sweet. Just a few hits provide an instant head change. The effects are not only cerebral though. The body effect provides complete, long lasting relaxation. Tokyo OG is ideal for muscle pain, sleep and appetite stimulation.
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