Rap duo, Run the Jewels, first entered the cannabis industry back in July 2020 with the release of their branded strain, “OOH LaLa.”
Now, while more states turn to legalization as prohibition continues to disproportionately affect communities of color, one half of the duo, Killer Mike, is making his voice heard regarding the need for reform.
In a recent interview with TMZ, the Run the Jewels frontman stressed that, along with legalization, the industry is facing a great need for equity and inclusion. And he’s not wrong.
In fact, a 2017 Marijuana Business Daily survey found that only 4.3% of ownership and stake-holder positions in the industry are filled by Black people.
The Power of the pen
Killer Mike is now publicly challenging the President elect Joe Biden to enact the same policies that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., proposed during his 2020 presidential run.
“I want to challenge Joe Biden to do what Bernie Sanders did. He would have descheduled it the first day of his presidency,” he explained to TMZ. “You have the power of that pen to invoke things like gun laws, you should have the power of that pen to take it off the Schedule I list to if nothing, it’s decriminalized to the point that kids’ lives aren’t being ruined today.”
More specifically, Killer Mike hopes to see 25% of the industry’s profits, licenses and businesses go directly to those most affected by the War on Drugs.
“I want to demand NORML, other marijuana organizations out there to get people of color on the forefront,” he expressed. “And I’m gonna be frank and say Black folks deserve a big stake. We deserve at least 25% of the marijuana industry because it has truly been built on our back, and we need more MedMen that are owned by men like me.”
Is Biden for bud?
Biden, who was far from the most pro-cannabis Democrat in the presidential election, has remained somewhat quiet regarding his position on cannabis reform.
His stance has certainly wavered over the years, and while it’s unlikely that cannabis reform is on the top of his priority list, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris applauded the U.S House of Representatives for approving the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2019.
If passed, this would remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances, expunge federal convictions and arrests, and authorize an excise tax that would help “address the needs of communities that have been most seriously impacted by the War on Drugs,” according to the act.
Click here to read more about the MORE Act.