Jay Z takes us through the history of the War on Drugs in four minutes

  /  09.15.2016

Jay Z narrates a new short film, A History of the War on Drugs: From Prohibition to Gold Rush, placing his first-person perspective on the “drug epidemic” front and center. Over beautiful illustrations by Molly Crabapple, the film chronicles the policies and perceptions that have disproportionately targeted black and Latino people over the past 45 years. Jay sums it up succinctly: “The War on Drugs is an epic fail.”

As marijuana becomes legalized in some states, the above-ground drug economy is now one of the fastest-growing economies in America. Yet, the impact of the War on Drugs will keep certain people locked out of the legit industry. Dream Hampton, noted hip-hop journalist and co-author of Jay Z’s biography Decoded, wanted to ask why white people are set to profit from doing the same things they’ve been imprisoning black people for. Therefore, the film is a PSA of sorts. Hampton got the Drug Policy Alliance to partner with social impact agency Revolve Impact to produce the piece, published today (September14) by the New York Times as an op-ed video.

Watch the compelling and informative short film below:

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