'the war on drugs is an epic fail'

Jay Z breaks down the racist history of the war on drugs in new video

Molly Crabapple/Revolve Impact/Drug Policy Alliance

In a video published on The New York Times’ website, Jay Z and artist Molly Crabapple challenge us to rethink American drug policy and the racist double standards therein.

The rapper, born Shawn Carter, begins by laying out the 45-year history of the so-called “War on Drugs,” which, he notes, has “exploded” the United States’ incarcerated population and resulted in the disproportionate imprisonment of black and Latino men. As he speaks, Crabapple paints evocative tableaux that hammer his points home.

screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-11-22-57-amMolly Crabapple/Revolve Impact/Drug Policy Alliance

Carter continues by laying out the hypocrisies of recent shifts in drug policy, like how convicted felons—often black and brown men who received “tough on crime” felony convictions for petty marijuana sale and possession—are denied participation in the marijuana trades in the states where weed is legal.

Watch the video, produced by filmmaker and author dream hampton in collaboration with the Drug Policy Alliance and Revolve Impact, below.

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