The constitution provides for freedom of religion, including the freedom of individuals to change their religion. The government prohibits the use of marijuana, including for religious reasons. Rastafarians continued to state they disagreed with the government’s ban on marijuana, stating it was integral to their religious rituals. Vaccinations as a requirement for school enrollment remained under discussion between Ministry of Health officials and Rastafarians with school-age children. Ministry of Education, Reconciliation, Ecclesiastical Affairs, and Information officials stated accommodations permitted dreadlocks at some workplaces, such as construction sites, with appropriate headgear, called a Tam or Rastacap.
Rastafarians stated they continued to face societal discrimination because of their religious practices, in particular their use of marijuana. Some Rastafarian activists stated, however, they believed Rastafarians were increasingly accepted in society, and society was becoming more tolerant of their way of life. They cited a perceived reduction in police harassment as proof of increased societal acceptance.
Embassy officials discussed the prohibition of Rastafarian dreadlocks with the Ministry of Education, Reconciliation, Ecclesiastical Affairs, and Information and with the Ministry of National Mobilization, Social Development, Family, Gender Affairs, Persons with Disabilities, and Youth. Embassy officials met with representatives of religious communities, in particular Rastafarians and Muslim leaders. The embassy also used Facebook to promote messages about the importance of religious freedom and respect for religious diversity across the Eastern Caribbean.