More states are opting to decriminalize the growth, use, and sale of marijuana as activists—from the Average Joe to celebrities—have spoken out about the subject worldwide. While many cannabis companies have been instrumental in shifting the public’s perspective when it comes to marijuana, Killer Mike believes that the rap industry deserves to have some respect put on its name because hip hop artists have had a strong hand in weed acceptance.
During The Washington Post‘s third annual “Free to State” summit, the Run The Jewels artist was apart of a panel of professionals who discussed the biggest free speech issues in 2019. As they spoke about marijuana, Killer Mike mentioned that in the criminal justice system, white people are far less likely to find themselves locked up over weed charges. However, he said that black people often find themselves facing lengthy sentences for non-violent, marijuana-related offenses. As the United States becomes more accepting of marijuana use and distribution, especially now that 15 states have decriminalized marijuana in the past year alone, people need to start giving rappers credit for being the pioneers who removed prejudices regularly associated with marijuana use.
“We know that with national decriminalization of marijuana now, a lot of people are going to get credit for it—a lot of activists, a lot of workers,” Killer Mike said. “But I can show you a line that leads straight back to Cypress Hill, that leads straight back to Snoop Dogg, that leads straight back to people like Rick James.”
“If it’s not duly acknowledged publicly…if the media isn’t pushing the line of that narrative, if the media isn’t giving us that freedom, if the media treats rappers differently than they do country artists, then you’re going to see a galvanization of what the prejudices that we already see,” he said. “If you look like one, two, or three, your case might be tried radically different.” Check out the full “Free to State” discussion below.