Killer Mike Endorses Bernie Sanders: He Wishes to End the War on Drugs

   

Hip hop artist Killer Mike’s passionate introduction of Bernie Sanders before a raucous crowd in Atlanta, Georgia, has made the waves on social media with many progressives touting his inspiring speech. While many political pundits may discount the importance of an endorsement from a rapper named Killer Mike, the support could prove crucial for Senator Sanders as he hopes to make inroads with black voters, who currently overwhelmingly support front-runner Hillary Clinton. Some of us hold out hope that, like Barack Obama before him, Sanders will be able to galvanize black support by demonstrating that he can win in Iowa and New Hampshire, but it would be nice to see the Vermont Senator increase his support before those crucial early-voting states.

Killer Mike listed a variety of reasons that he supports Senator Sanders, from income inequality to foreign policy. Of course, to me, what caught my ear was Sanders’ support to end the Drug War. Killer Mike stated that, “In my heart of hearts, I truly believe that Senator Bernie Sanders is the right man to lead this country.” The hip hop artist continued, “He, unlike any other candidate, said, I wish to end this illegal War on Drugs that disproportionately targets minorities and poor.

The Drug War has undisputedly devastated black communities across the nation. This war on our own citizens has created a mass incarceration epidemic that has torn families apart and created economic hardships that too many poor people cannot overcome. Dr. Michelle Alexander has eloquently declared our mass incarceration tragedy spurred by the War on Drugs as “The New Jim Crow“. Bernie Sanders was the first Democratic candidate to contend that states should be able to legalize marijuana without restrictions and the only one to call for an end to federal cannabis prohibition and eliminate the private prison racket. Sanders has  done a tremendous job dictating the criminal justice policy debate during the Democratic primary, but only he has supported policies that will truly move us towards a sane drug policy.

Watch the entire rousing introduction below. Killer Mike’s statement on the War on Drugs begins at 2:50.

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.