Veteran Hip-Hop mogul Jay Z recently teamed up with the infamous New York Times imprint to offer up a current perspective regarding the controversial war on drugs. Hov does his part by narrating a short film which features artwork from artist Molly Crabapple.
The film covers everything from the Nixon administration to how the war impacts the steadily rising prison population to the more in your face marijuana culture that exists today. Additionally, the flick discusses the extreme percentages of African Americans that are arrested and incarcerated as a result of the anti drug initiative compared to their Caucasian counterparts. Both use & sell drugs at the same rate but their statistics are drastically different. The whole film project came about courtesy of Dream Hampton and Revolve Impact. Revolve Impact is a social agency that connects artists and other influential figures to community organizers. In this case, the Drug Policy Alliance was the organization. With marijuana rapidly becoming legalized throughout the United States, Hampton wanted to evaluate why it is all of sudden okay for people to suddenly start making a living off of what African American males have been punished for doing for years. She thought an animated short produced by the D.P.A. would be an effective way to explore the topic.
Policy makers are working with advocates to try to reduce unjust policing and incarceration. In November, California will be voting on Prop 64. Prop 64 would practically eliminate penalties for marijuana related offenses as well as allow those who are locked up for low-level crimes to be released and have their records cleared. Also, it would help drive funds into the communities that suffer the most at the hands of the criminal justice system. Join in the movement and take a peek at Jay Z and Molly’s collaboration above. -MinM