Ziggy Marley revealed he started smoking marijuana aged nine, with the blessing of his reggae legend father Bob.
The 50-year-old, who followed in his father’s footsteps to become a musician, admitted he was ‘too young’ to start smoking the drug but that it was always commonplace in his community.
He is a Rastafarian like his father, who died in 1981 aged just 36.
‘Smoking marijuana wasn’t considered a bad thing in Rastafarian culture’, he told Reader’s Digest.
‘It wasn’t something to hide from the kids.
‘I can’t even remember when I had my first “spliff”, I was around nine. I was very young, too young.’
The singer admitted that he thinks his father made a mistake by allowing him to smoke so young, but conceded it was part of his culture.
‘I wouldn’t have let myself do it in my father’s place’, he explained.
‘But it was a part of our religion – we’re one of those ancient cultures with traditions that modern society wouldn’t accept.’
He explained that he didn’t smoke marijuana for ‘fun’ and instead used it to heighten his spirituality.
‘When I first consciously decided to smoke weed as a teenager, I approached it from a spiritual point of view’, he went on.
‘It’s given me more insight into myself and into my spirituality, and I use it as a form of influence when reading scriptures and books about spirituality. I use it to give me a different perspective so that my mind isn’t in the same place that it normally is. I turn into a shaman.
‘It was never just about getting high – I educated myself about it in terms of how Yogis in India use it and I went down that route with it, I didn’t go down the “fun” route.’
In 1976 Bob Marley survived an assassination attempt by three gunmen at his home in Hope Road in Jamaica, but just five years later he died from a malignant melanoma originating in his toe.
He played his last ever concert in 1980.
The star discovered the melanoma during a game of football in 1977, when a foot injury seemed unusually bad and worsened over time.
When doctors discovered the cancer, he was advised to have his toe amputated, but refused as his Rastafarian faith considers it a sin to have a part of the body ‘temple’ removed.
He did consent to a skin graft but this didn’t stop the disease spreading throughout his body by the summer of 1980.
Ziggy’s mother is Bob’s widow Rita Marley, 73, who had two other children with the star.
The Reggae legend acknowledged having 11 children with seven women.
He also adopted Mrs Marley’s two children from a previous relationship.