Rapper/activist Killer Mike has penned an essay for Rolling Stone pointing out African-Americans are being prevented from entering the bustling legal marijuana market.
Killer Mike does not shy away from his love for the green leaf. In fact, he admitted to HipHopWired that he may never run for a political office because he smokes and won’t stop smoking anytime soon. But, that doesn’t mean that he won’t use his platform to influence how people view legislation.
One of the biggest topics in America right now is marijuana legalization. Even though a dark cloud was cast over America the day Donald Trump got elected, there was a little bit of sunshine in clouds as recreational weed use was legalized in California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota each passed ballots allowing medical marijuana use as well.
But, with this industry growing at such a rapid rate, many Black and Latino men who were caught selling when it was still illegal are still sitting in jail. While even more still stand to go if they get caught. This discrepancy is starting to raise a few eyebrows, including Mike’s.
In an essay he wrote for Rolling Stone, the 420 advocate lays out the facts of how weed was criminalized with Blacks and Latinos being the main people affected. He writes, “As marijuana reform begins to de-escalate the drug war, creating new opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship in the process, it is imperative that the people most in need of a second chance actually get one. The price they have already paid for our failed drug policy is steep enough.”
The article also brings attention to how out of nearly 3,6000 dispensaries, Blacks only make up one percent of the population that owns them. Many people of color are prohibited from owning or even working at one because of marijuana-related criminal records.
Mike and many others are calling for more states to relax their laws and penalties against non-violent drug offenders so that they too can participate in this industry that is predicted to generate at least $40 billion by 2020.
Mike isn’t the only emcee vocal in marijuana legalization. Pusha T was a part of a campaign that helped get Prop 64 passed in California that legalized recreational use just last month. Laws like this can help curb the destruction that the War On Drugs had on the community.
Read the entire article for yourself here.