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Killer Mike Writes Op-Ed Explaining How the Black Community Is Being Left Out of the Marijuana Industry

Rapper Killer Mike Stumps For Bernie Sanders In South Carolina
Sean Rayford, Getty Images

Medicinal marijuana has been approved in 28 states and now recreationally in eight states. The cannabis business is at an all time high and rapper Killer Mike, who’s been a continuous advocate for the legalization of marijuana, says the black community is being left out of potentially profiting in the marijuana business. He explained his perspective in an op-ed for Rolling Stone.

“Although there are number of barriers to entry, one of the most concerning is that people convicted of nonviolent drug crimes are often disqualified from participation in the marijuana industry altogether – something that states like California have begun to address with their marijuana reform initiatives,” Killer Mike wrote.

He noted only one percent of all marijuana dispensaries are black-owned due to the difficult process of getting into the industry. He also broke down the history of laws against marijuana and how they affected black and brown populations for years.

“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 says. “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 state of California, who just approved the legalization of recreational marijuana in November’s election, already has a plan to clean the slates of those charged for nonviolent drug crimes.

And while each state has its own process for reversing the effects of these laws, Killer Mike is calling for each one to seriously consider the consequences of past convictions for actions that are no longer illegal.

Jay Z also recently spoke out against the war on drugs, narrating a powerful op-ed video or the New York Times, which was produced by Dream Hampton. Pusha T helped advocate for California voters to pass Proposition 64, which legalized marijuana and he said would help reform the criminal justice system.


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