Anybody with half of a brain and some common sense can tell you that the War on Drugs, which was begun during President Richard Nixon‘s term back in 1971, is clearly not working. It has effectively sent millions of Americans to prison for years. However, it can’t be argued that the inner cities have suffered the most from this insane policy, that is still very much in effect to this day, due to the inherent racism built into the ill-willed campaign.

In a video op-ed with The New York Times, rap mogul  Jay Z discusses the history of the War on Drugs and its devastating effects on the inner city community, along with the United States having the highest rate of incarceration in the world; higher than China, Russia, Iran, and Cuba – all countries that our very own government (and many our own citizens) look down upon for their supposed “autocratic and oppressive” policies. He certainly brings up a good point.

Grateful Dead Fan Timothy Tyler Has Been Granted Clemency By President Barack Obama

“Young men like me who hustled became the sole villain and drug addicts lacked moral fortitude,” Jay Z says. Under the administration of Ronald Reagan, a serious crackdown took place within the inner cities, where drug users and dealers were blamed as being the only reason for the problems the communities faced, failing to mention local and national policies cutting and defunding everything from schools, community centers, after-school programs, jobs being outsourced, you name it.

While Jay-Z does acknowledge many States changing laws, such as Colorado and Washington, helping to fight the War on Drugs, he does go on to say that there are still discrepancies even within these new policies: “Venture capitalists migrate to these states to open multi-billion dollar operations, but former felons can’t open a dispensary,” Jay Z says. “Lots of times those felonies were drug charges caught by poor people, who sold drugs for a living but are now prohibited from participating in one of the fastest-growing economies.”

Take a listen to the video below, which features artwork from Molly Crabapple:

[via Rolling Stone]