When it comes to the good ole’ U.S. of A, we talk about war. A lot. The good wars (which is just a tad of an oxymoron), the bad ones, and the ones that never end. There’s World War II, Vietnam, and the cluster-cuss of Iraq. With that in mind, there’s little to no discussion about America’s truly failed war, and that’s the war on drugs. The casualties and long term societal effects of this war is nothing new to rappers, especially those who used to be street hustlers themselves, so it’s fitting that Jay Z lends his voice to the cause of ending the war this in succinct and strong short animated film.
Clocking in at a little under 4 minutes, the hand-drawn clip details the history of this least noble of wars, complete with the disparity in how weed is looked at in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn vs. the quad of Columbia University. It’s eye-opening for those who haven’t been privy to this information and still enraging for those who’ve had this information for decades. There are plenty of more things I could quote from it, but I’d be doing it and Jay a disservice.
With that said, there has been movement on the issue, especially in California. Prop 64 is on the ballot this year and if passed, it would reduce criminal penalties for marijuana. As the law is retroactive, a lot of cats doing football numbers for petty marijuana charges would be released with a clean slate. If that wasn’t enough, the bill would also invest millions in neighborhoods most affected by a completely unbalanced criminal justice system.
This isn’t the first time Jay has spoken out about these things, but props to him for using a stage as big as the New York Times and an election season to be heard again.
(Via New York Times)