the war on drugs

The mogul teams with the New York Times for a scathing editorial about the War on Drugs.

Jay Z’s “ghost stories” are about hustling in the 1980s. Right during the heart of the Crack Era. The rise of cocaine & crack usage spawned numerous drug laws to go into effect. Most notably, the Len Bias Law of 1986 that began handing down minimum sentences for those who even possessed it. While the drug laws never personally hindered my family, it did that of countless others. Effectively ending the lives of people addicted to a high on more than one front.

In a short film for The New York Times, Hov breaks down how the War on Drugs started, how its policies “epically” failed and how racism played an large effect. Illustrated by Molly Crabapple, it’s an intertwining tale of fear and black faces being made the blame.

The film touches on both presidencies of Ronald Reagan & Richard Nixon and their work within the War. Nixon’s cabinet and policies painted blacks as the reason for a heroin epidemic in the ’70s and placed hippies within the crosshairs as the result of weed’s expansion. When cocaine boomed in the ’80s and morphed to crack, it was deemed a Black drug. One that Reagan spared no expense in attempting to control. The Iran-Contra affair exposed the nation to the reality that the U.S. government was importing cocaine to Los Angeles amongst other major cities.

“The War On Drugs Is An Epic Fail”

The doc also frames the large racial discrepancies in policing of the drug war. For example, Whites who work Wall Street or study at Columbia were not harassed by cops, unlike Blacks & Latinos. That, eventually led to the mass prison population increase. Low level, non-violent offenders treated the same as murders, robbers & rapists.

The project was brought forth by dream hampton, who reached out to the Drug Policy Alliance about linking with Revolve Impact. Revolve Impact is an organization that connects influencers with community organizers that she is a part of. Their goal? To illustrate the hypocrisy of whites getting rich off the legalization of marijuana. Under the same premises that got black people sent to jail for years, if not decades.

Watch the short film below.