Killer Mike: Op-Ed Discusses Bringing African-Americans Into Marijuana Business
Tue, 13 Dec 2016 09:28:23
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Killer Mike, famously outspoken and always loyal to his vision, drew a certain amount of criticism before the presidential election when he urged black voters to avoid the ballot unless concrete policy changes that would benefit the black community were promised by the running politicians.
Among the demands the Run the Jewels rapper listed was "allowing former felons into the growing marijuana biz (like they did whites with bootlegging whiskey after Prohibition of alcohol)."
Now, expanding on the idea he first discussed during the final days of campaigning, he has written an op-ed piece for Rolling Stone in which he discusses the importance of reforming laws prohibiting convicted felons, including those convicted of nonviolent drug crimes. He imagines a world where those people can move away from crime into the growing operations or working in marijuana dispensaries.
"Given the history of marijuana prohibition in the United States — a history rooted in the deliberate demonization and criminalization of black and Hispanic men — it's clear that barring access to people convicted of nonviolent drug crimes ends up reproducing many of the same racial inequalities that have characterized marijuana laws for decades," he writes. After detailing the racist history of how marijuana prohibition has been enacted and enforced, he explains that "The current movement to legalize marijuana offers a small but important opportunity to dismantle these inequalities. And yet the people most likely to be victims of marijuana prohibition are the least likely to profit in its aftermath."
—The ARTISTdirect Staff