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Free Non-Violent Cannabis Offenders

Mic Drop is a recurring series featuring the thoughts and opinions of some of the biggest voices in classic Hip-Hop. Raw, uncut — and in their own words — these are the gems you've always wanted.

 

Freedom allows me to tell all different kinds of stories. I made a film, Grass is Greener, which explores the history of cannabis and its connection to music — from jazz all the way to Hip-Hop — and the subsequent criminal justice nightmare.

It's a harmless plant which has great medical value. It's been the reason that hundreds of thousands of people have criminal records — particularly for non-violent cannabis arrests. These freedoms are being challenged by unjust laws, and the people have finally risen up.

Cannabis has been criminalized since 1937. That's 80 something years, and the focus has always been primarily on black and brown people. When the hippies and the counterculture movement developed, they got thrown in jail too, because it was a way for the government to put pressure on people that they just didn't like.

That's America. That's a part of what we deal with in this country. And so what we do, is we fight. Non-violent cannabis offenders should be free right now, because racism is the reason why it was criminalized.

Politicians and activists were so excited about my movie because they used it as a teaching tool to help explain the things that they were trying to convey to people. Inmates need to not only be let out, but these criminal records need to also be expunged.

There is a Black man in Louisiana, Bernard Noble, that was given 13 years for two joints of cannabis. He served seven of the 13 year sentence. Once again, he was non-violent offender. I'm involved in creating a cannabis brand in his name, Be Noble, and we're coming out with a two joint pre-roll that will be available in every state where cannabis is available. The packaging explains that a part of the purpose of the brand is to donate to organizations that are fighting to expunge records, and to get this ball and chain off of people's necks.

This is a part of what I do with my personal freedoms. We have to tell the stories that can help make change. The fight continues. Unfortunately, we still have a lot of work to be done.

Make no mistake, Hip-Hop would of happened without cannabis, but it has been connected to the culture since the beginning. Leave a bottle of alcohol in a room, and when you come back, people are likely to be in there fighting and trying to kill each other. With cannabis, it brings people together. It's a joyous thing.

Moving forward, I'm making it a mission to free everyone who shouldn't even be behind bars.

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