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Tonight, BET will premiere a new original documentary “SMOKE: Marijuana + Black America” at 10pm ET/PT. Narrated and executive produced by multi-platinum rapper and entrepreneur, Nasir “Nas” Jones, and produced by Swirl Films, the two-hour special examines marijuana’s cultural, social, economic and legal impact on American society and the Black community. Told through the lens of aficionados, policy makers, advocates and innovators in the booming legal cannabis industry, “SMOKE” features testimony from a range of notable individuals including Vice President-Elect Kamala D. Harris, Senator Cory Booker, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx, Representative Barbara Lee, former NBA player and cannabis investor Al Harrington, WNBA star Cheyenne Parker, former NFL star Ricky Williams, rapper B-Real (Cypress Hill), award-winning music artist Ty Dolla $ign, son of Notorious B.I.G. C.J. Wallace, Columbia University PhD Professor Carl Hart and others.
“SMOKE” traces the fascinating and complex legacy of marijuana in the Black community. Early usage was recreational in nature, but political and racial dynamics led to the criminalization of cannabis and eventually its prohibition. America’s unjust war on drugs systematically targeted marijuana use in the Black community, resulting in racially disproportionate numbers of arrests and convictions. “SMOKE” features the voices of high-profile lawmakers, who are fighting to bring restorative justice to those incarcerated and others saddled with felony convictions. “SMOKE” also spotlights the tragic story of Corvain Cooper, a father who is serving a life sentence for selling marijuana in the same neighborhood where legal dispensaries now operate in the open.
“SMOKE: Marijuana + Black America” is produced by Swirl Films. Nasir “Nas” Jones, Jason Samuels from BET, and Eric Tomosunas from Swirl Films serve as executive producers. Erik Parker serves as director for the documentary and Swirl Films’ Tony L. Strickland serves as co-executive producer.