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Rapper Killer Mike Suggests Giving Black People Control Over Marijuana Industry As A Form Of Reparations



Bill Maher and Killer Mike on the show Real Time With Bill Maher

In a discussion about reparations on the HBO show Real Time With Bill Maher at the start of Black History Month on Friday, rapper Killer Mike suggested that Black people could be given control over America’s marijuana industry as a way to redress racial harm.

“With Native Americans, we gave them the casino industry,” Maher said. “What about, you know, supermarkets?”

“Could Black people have the marijuana industry?” replied Killer Mike. “Give us marijuana. Multibillion-dollar industry. It’s still fresh, it’s still growing.”

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R), another guest on the show Friday night, made clear his distaste for the idea.

“Look at his fucking face,” the rapper laughed, gesturing to Sununu’s pained expression.

Asked by Maher about reparations more generally, Sununu was dismissive.

“Vivek Ramaswamy just texted me his Taylor Swift playlist,” he quipped, putting his finger to his ear. “I haven’t been paying attention.”

(Ramaswamy, for his part, endorsed the federal legalization of marijuana during his own appearance on Maher’s podcast.)

The New Hampshire governor then clarified: “No, no, I’m not for reparations. I’m not for that at all.”

Sununu did play along, however, when Killer Mike jokingly asked him to call Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) to see about securing a marijuana business license for the rapper, who lives in Atlanta.

“Why doesn’t Killer Mike have a marijuana license in Georgia?” he said. “Will you call Brian Kemp for me?”

“I’ll call Brian right now,” replied Sununu, chuckling.

Maher then plugged the West Hollywood marijuana store he co-owns with Woody Harrelson. “If you’re going to buy marijuana,” he told Killer Mike, “I would suggest you do it at The Woods.”

Killer Mike has long been an advocate for marijuana reform, for example teaming with with other celebrities to encourage the Biden administration to issue pardons for past marijuana crimes.

In 2020, he challenged then-President-elect Joe Biden to adopt the marijuana legalization plan of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), whom the rapper has credited with largely inspiring the legalization movement.

Killer Mike won three Grammy awards on Sunday, but he was arrested later that night following what police have described as a “physical altercation.”

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

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In New Hampshire, meanwhile, Sununu is widely seen as a major obstacle to passing comprehensive cannabis reform. The governor has pushed for government-run stores, a novel plan that critics say would expose the state to significant legal liability, and demanded that any legalization plan sent to his desk allow no more than 15 legal stores.

Late last month, however, a House committee amended pending legalization legislation to do away with a state-run franchise model and move closer to a more traditional regulatory regime. Some lawmakers have cautioned that the change could torpedo the push for legalization if it spurs Sununu to veto the legislation.

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Photo via Real Time With Bill Maher / YouTube.

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Ben Adlin, a senior editor at Marijuana Moment, has been covering cannabis and other drug policy issues professionally since 2011. He was previously a senior news editor at Leafly, an associate editor at the Los Angeles Daily Journal and a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs. He lives in Washington State.


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