Remember those quotes about the futility of money by the legendary Bob Marley? Like this one:
“Money is numbers and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness will never end.”
And this one:
“Possessions make you rich? I don’t have that type of richness. My richness is life, forever.”
It turns out his descendants are not nearly so discerning about the benefits of material wealth, and are cashing in on the spiritual legacy left by the most revered reggae artist in history. USA Today reported:
In an announcement Tuesday on NBC’s Today, the Marley family and a Seattle-based private equity firm announced the creation of Marley Natural, “a premium cannabis brand rooted in the life and legacy” of one of marijuana’s most devoted sons.
The line will include pot-infused creams, accessories (like vaporizers in the style of e-cigarettes) and strains of “heirloom Jamaican cannabis,” inspired by the herb that Marley liked to smoke.
The family and the company say this is serious business, designed to be sold like a “modern product, cleanly packaged and marketed with the help of the same agency that branded New Balance and Starbucks Coffee.
Marley’s family have been notoriously shameless in exploiting his image for commercial gain, and have been embroiled in legal battle after legal battle with each other over rights to things like the naming of Marley branded fishcakes since Bob Marley’s death in 1981. This latest effort seems particularly tasteless given Marley believed smoking marijuana was an intensely spiritual practice and the herb was a tool for healing. Now, it seems, marijuana is a ‘product’ to be distributed and marketed to the masses.
Of course the family is extolling the virtues of branded weed as a fitting legacy to Bob. His daughter, Cedella Marley, stated that: “My dad would be so happy to see people understanding the healing power of the herb…He viewed the herb as something spiritual that could awaken our well-being, deepen our reflection, connect us to nature and liberate our creativity.”
He may well have done, but he’ll probably be rolling in his grave knowing that his already enormously wealthy descendants will be making even more money out of it.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.