Because we got high: did hip-hop culture help drive legalization?
Weed and hip-hop are synonymous – they go hand-in-hand. Rappers like Cypress Hill, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, and Curren$y have been promoting and advocating for the mainstream use of weed for the last several years.
And today, in Canada it is now officially legal to carry (up to a certain amount) and toke (with some restrictions).
I know, most of you are thinking “I been doing that!” That’s because hip-hop culture (that includes its fans) is completely unapologetic about the use of marijuana.
From lyrics littered with words of homage to the plant, to music videos featuring smokey rooms and blunts, to interviews where rappers openly admitted to smoking (lots) of weed well before legalization was even on the horizon, artists kept talking about it.
Hip-hop is the most important music since since the 1960’s, proving to be even more influential than the Beatles. That’s not my opinion, that’s a fact thanks to a study published by two London (UK) universities. And, by keeping the conversation going – by not letting up – hip-hop, as a key cultural influencer, (I think) ultimately helped normalize cannabis.
As a lifelong hip-hop fan, I grew up watching people that truly inspired me toke up, rap about toking up, and talk openly about it in interviews. The same artists that motivated and inspired me were the same ones society at the time were telling me were bad because they used drugs i.e. weed. Didn’t make sense to me and I think a lot of hip-hop fans can relate. Weed was a part of the culture I was immersed in and that culture was hip-hop. Now, it’s (openly and legally) a part of Canada.
I chatted with Jack Lloyd, Cannabis lawyer, on Legalization Day to get a sense of what he thinks this means for our country and how he feels on this big day. Jack has been advocating for the legalization of marijuana and has represents high-profile cannabis clients like Marc Emery.
Q&A: Jack Lloyd
HipHopCanada: How are you feeling on Legalization Day?
Jack Lloyd: I am very, very pleased and proud to be a Canadian at this time. Our country has shown the world a sensible way to treat this harmless plant and I am honoured to be a part of this movement.
HipHopCanada: How will this change the face of Canada as we know it today?
Jack Lloyd: There will be a tremendous boom industrially and it will help hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Canadians in a variety of ways – socially, economically, and culturally. It will change the face the Canada and we should be very proud to live in a country that has taken this step.
HipHopCanada: Who’s your favourite Canadian rapper
Jack Lloyd: Oh, it’s definitely Buck 65.
You can follow @JackLloydLawyer on Twitter.