It's official: in the eyes of the law, cannabis use can indeed be considered a spiritual practice – if you're a Rastafari, that is. 

A Rastafarian man in the southern Italian city of Bari has been acquitted for cannabis possession because he was using the plant for meditative purposes.

The 30-year-old was charged in May 2016 after authorities found eight grams of cannabis in his pocket and another 50 grams in his house.

During the case, prosecutors argued that the man should face four months in prison. However, his lawyer succeeded in convincing the court that he should be acquitted because cannabis is sacred in the Rastafari religion.

“Rastafarians are followers of a religion whose believers use marijuana for meditation,” ruled the judge.

Popularized by Bob Marley, Rastafarianism is both a religious and social movement that developed in Jamaica during the 1930s. 

In lieu of traditional religious ceremonies, Rastafaris gather at communal meetings known as “groundations” that incorporate music, chanting, and meditation to have group discussions and reach higher states of consciousness.

While Rastafaris generally frown upon consuming intoxicants, they consider cannabis to be a holy sacrament. 

h/t The Independent