Talib Kweli dropped by Rolling Stone to discuss an issue being debated in many state capitals throughout the United States: The decriminalization of marijuana. With weed now legal in Washington, Colorado, Alaska and (for the time being) Washington, D.C., the rapper says that we’re now living “in a marijuana culture” where the archaic hippie-era view of pot is being erased and replaced with a more forward-thinking perspective.
“The war on drugs is something that was specifically designed by conservative elements in our country in the Sixties under the rule of Richard Nixon to play up the images of the dangerous inner-city drug addict,” Kweli says. “They were saying that ‘Drug dealers are worse than terrorists. We’re putting drug dealers in jail at record numbers.’ The idea that we’re moving away from that, at least in the case of marijuana, is a great thing.”
As Kweli notes, it’s surprisingly not the liberals who are at the forefront of the legalized marijuana movement. “The racism and the sentencing has always been a problem, but no one gave a shit about that for years,” the Black Star rapper said. “Now, you have a libertarian movement in the conservative circles that is starting to see that there’s a financial benefit and a political benefit to legalizing pot, so we’re starting to see it happen.”
Previously, Kweli talked with Rolling Stone about the importance of Parks and Recreation‘s Kendrick Lamar joke.