The Rastafari movement was born in Jamaica in 1930 when news of the crowning of Ras Tafari (Haile Selassie) as King of Ethiopia, attracted the attention of various Jamaicans who had been to some extent influenced by Marcus Garvey. Haile Selassie is known to be Jah because of his direct ascendancy to King Menelik, son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba and King David and because of his inherited title, King of Kings, Lord of Lord, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, which identifies him as the living Jah whose coming was foretold in the Bible, Psalm 68.4, Revelation 5:2-5, 19:16, 22:16.
Various persons connected Garvey's prophecies of the crowning of a black king who would deliver black people from their oppressors, with certain biblical passages that confirmed to them that Selassie was indeed the Messiah.
Rastafari is not dreadlocks and a joint. It is a way of life that is not dependent on feigned social freedoms. Rastafari prefers to opt instead for something less material and more meaningful-truths and rights. In other words... being in the world but not of it.
Herb, Marijuana, Collie or Ganja are considered a Sacrament to Rastafarians and is used to act as a channel to a calm and conscious temporal spirit much as Christians and Jews use red wine. Rastas believe that this use of Ganja was granted to them by the words of Jesus in the fields of Zion, "God gives man all green herbs, trees and plants bearing fruit with seeds". This he did while standing in a field of Cannabis. Genesis Book 1 verses 11,12,29. Rastas also believe that smoking Ganjas will allow them to use positive common consciousness.
The Rastafari wear dreadlocks as an expression of inner spirituality. For them, the term "dread" refers to a "fear of the Lord", expressed in part as alienation from the perceived decadence and other evils of contemporary society and a return to the Covenant with the Almighty, Jah Rastafari.