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Jay Z & The Drug War 'Epic Fail' Video

The New York Times recruited none other than Jay Z to narrate a new op-ed piece spotlighting the failed war on drugs in America. It’s a highly captivating piece thanks to the live illustrations by artist Molly Crabapple, who also moonlights as a contributing editor for VICE.

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September 22, 2016

She paints the bleak picture that is America’s greatest domestic war, especially against those of color. In this quick culture shift from black market to free market, cannabis is making many white venture capitalists richer in states like Colorado, while disproportionate numbers of minorities find themselves forced into prisons for that very same right most everywhere else in the country.

Serving as narrator and script writer, Jay Z hits hard on the data in a quick-fire history lesson: “When the war on drugs began in 1971, our prison population was 200,000. Now it’s over 2 million … There were more than 1.5 million drug arrest in 2014. More than 80% were for possession only, almost half [of those] were for marijuana.”

The federal status of cannabis – including hemp and marijuana – has not only unfairly targeted non-violent criminals, many of which live in black and Latino communities, it has also stifled the research that is clearly needed to bring about a more informed discussion around the plant.

Nixon-era drug policies and a total lack of compassionate choices haunt the “justice” within the U.S. criminal justice system. As well, the slouching employment status and heavy tax burden felt by many Americans might find a little relief with smarter reforms. And maybe even riches for a lucky few. End the ‘epic fail’ by growing a new history. View the story: “Jay Z: ‘The War on Drugs is an Epic Fail’” via The New York Times


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