In an animated op-ed in the New York Times, rapper, entrepreneur and Beyonce husband Jay Z claims that the War on Drugs has failed. The hip-hop mogul also known as Sean Carter contends it can be blamed for many problems that have little or nothing to do with drugs or drug dealers
The Brooklyn native and former dealer states that not only is the enforcement of drug laws executed selectively and with racial bias, but the laws themselves—such as discrepancies in sentencing crack and powder cocaine users—are biased.
Jay-Z also opines that the powers-that-be blamed drugs for societal problems while ignoring the disastrous results of mandatory minimum sentencing and the destruction of social safety nets inside inner-city neighborhoods.
The rapper turned business tycoon drills down his point when he says that the current rates “of drug use are as high as they were when Nixon declared this so-called war in 1971. Forty-five years later, it’s time to rethink our policies and laws. The War on Drugs is an epic fail.”
Jay-Z wrote and narrated the piece, which was animated by Molly Crabapple for the Times. While many of the ideas expressed aren't new, the editorial is presented in a blunt and compelling way.
The op-ed will reach a large audience and encourage public discussion of these issues. Who knows, it may even lead to rethinking ways to rid society of drug abuse without counter-productive stereotypes, blame and silver-bullet solutions getting in the way.