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New Netflix weed doc makes us hope that the ‘Grass is Greener’

On 4/20 Netflix lit up with the rest of the stoner community with a much needed and updated documentary on the history and consequences of the criminalization of cannabis.

With Fab 5 Freddy as the host, the documentary angles the story through classicly Black music genres. We get to follow the presence of pot in jazz, reggae, and hip hop. Plus, how those genres shaped weed culture.

Whether you’ve been smoking trees for years, been an advocate since college, or just found out weed isn’t all that bad, the documentary has much to teach you.

We quickly learn how the U.S. government popularized the name “marijuana” to link it to Mexican immigration and drum up opposition to the flower using racism and xenophobia.

We also learn the history of jazz, a genre that advocated for Mary Jane. Within the context of a racist government that sought to kill the spread of Black culture, progressive whites enjoying Jazz were mixing with Black and Brown communities.

Fearing this, politicians such as Harry Anslinger—a racist at heart—sought to demonize the plant that was so popular amongst POC.  Through this, he (like Nixon and Reagan after him) would demonize those communities as well.

His plan was to deter whites, especially white women from mixing with those communities. Jazz artists were arrested and jailed sparking a new era of legalized slavery.

Because officials could no longer directly call POC criminals or harmful and dangerous, they instead called weed dangerous. Associating drugs with Black and Brown people made sure to keep those communities down.

The film presents the science on weed that has consistently stated that it is not dangerous or harmful. In fact, these studies go as far back as the late 1930s when weed first became federally criminalized. As a Schedule I drug, along with harder drugs, the government claims marijuana has no medicinal properties.

Similarly, reggae and hip hop artists fought the same battle as jazz artists. Artists continue the fight with heavyweights like Tosh, Bob Marley, Run DMC, Cypress Hill, and Snoop Dogg. Each advocate helps bring the unjust criminalization of marijuana use to the public consciousness.

The film presents the issue of mass incarceration due to the racist war on drugs from a humanistic perspective. There are real experts and advocates that provide the legitimacy of the information.

Also, they step aside and let the stories of the real victims of the War on Drugs come forward. For those of us who take for granted the freedom to partake in recreational use, these stories rouse a sense of urgency. The grass better be greener for everybody.

The documentary wholeheartedly seeks to promote the ongoing and seemingly imminent legalization of weed.

This is significant because much of the talk of legalization has been in small form. As a matter of fact, from local college campus activism to short YouTube videos we’ve often heard about the injustices of the war on weed. This is one of the first mainstream, long-form advocacy films we’ve ever had access to.

The doc is blunt as it makes a call for reparations and a part in the growing legal pot industry.  Truthfully, it ends with hope for a brighter tomorrow where we can all spark up and chill without anxiety killing the high.

Make sure to take a peek at the trailer below.

Bob Marley

7 Bob Marley quotes that will inspire you to smoke weed and live life to the fullest

Born Nesta Robert Marley on February 6th, 1945, Bob Marley was far more than a musician. He was a father, a Rastafarian, and maybe the single most influential reggae artist of all-time.

He began his career in a band called the Wailers in 1963, where he slowly grew to international fame. By the time of his death in 1981, Marley had been awarded the Order of Merit from the Jamaican government and the Medal of Peace from the United Nations in 1980.

You can see Marley’s influence on the culture still today. From the marijuana merchandise, to the dreadlock caps you can buy at Six Flags, Bob Marley remains relevant to every generation.

Two years ago, on 4/20, Snapchat took some heat for using Bob Marley’s face as one of it’s filters on accounts of digital version of blackface — just an example of how even the newest technology tries to use his influence. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone tries to make a hologram of him at a concert, although I hope not.

His songs are like sunlight, they just feel good to the ears. It’s clear he was coming from a place of peace, and whenever he spoke you felt as such.

So, in his honor, here are 7 of my favorite quotes from him.

“I have no education. I have inspiration. If I was educated I would be a damn fool.”

Ever since I was young, education was held with the highest regard. A good grammar school was necessary in order to get into the right program in high school that would ultimately secure a notable university.

In this quote however, Bob Marley suggests education isn’t the end-all-be-all. When we depend completely on education and formalities, the ingenious of spontaneity can’t prosper, and we wouldn’t have the innovations we have today. This quote balances that scale.

“Herb is the healing of the nation, alcohol is the destruction.”

According to there were 33,171 alcohol related deaths last year. The number of deaths caused by Cannabis (Marijuana)? Zero. 

Bob Marley Identity GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”

Bronx native and Grammy nominated rapper/personality Cardi B kind of just jumped into stardom. In what seems to have been just one calendar year, she went from no music career to three number one songs on the Billboard 200 in the same year.

In her new CR Fashion Book magazine cover interview, she revealed the downsides of the wealth and fame, which spoke to what Marley was hinting at.

Bob Marley GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

She told actress Zendaya, who interviewed her:

“One negative thing is that, even though I’m happy, I feel like I was a little bit happier two or three years ago when I had less money. I had less people who had opinions about my life. I felt like my life was mine. Now I feel like I don’t even own my life. I feel like the world owns me.”

“Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!”

What made Marley so great is that his solutions to what seem like the most complex of roadblocks are always simple.

Here he’s saying just by merely living and appreciating life, you can achieve your vision. It’s when we focus on what doesn’t matter where we get side-tracked.

“Babylon is everywhere. You have wrong and you have right. Wrong is what we call Babylon, wrong things. That is what Babylon is to me. I could have born in England, I could have born in America, it make no difference where me born, because there is Babylon everywhere.”

Misfortune is inescapable and perfection is a myth.

A lot of times we like to get on our high horses to point out how someone else is wrong, when our way of life could be just as wrong to them. Marley is saying not to put anything past anyone, including yourself.

“Live for yourself and you will live in vain; live for others, and you will live again.”

Bob Marley’s music is undeniably filled with love. And that love you feel once it’s serenading in the air is impossible to bottle, you want to share it and give it to others to experience too. The same goes for life.

Bob Marley Caribbean GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

When we live a life of love, we want others to take part, be a part, and benefit from what you’re experiencing. That’s what it means to live for others, and that’s what will ensure us of our best lives.

“The biggest coward of a man is to awaken the love of a woman without the intention of loving her.”

Bob Marley was in tune with his soul. He understood what it meant for someone to love unconditionally, even in an era where women’s rights much further behind than they are now.

Setting this kind of example as a superstar is important. There are many men who probably needed to read this for a wake-up call and it further proves that Marley’s legacy precedes just the tunes he makes.

Motivational Bob Marley GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

What if your favorite NFL players were legendary music artists instead?

The line between athletes and musicians has always been a thin one.

From the days of Kobe and Shaq dropping actual hip-hop tracks, athletes continue to be intertwined within the same space of fame that many musicians occupy.

We have stars like Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert appearing in the great ass (pun obviously intended) video to Kanye’s “Fade” and Steelers tailback Le’Veon Bell dropping whole (pretty fire) mixtapes on Soundcloud.

To actually see how easy the bridge is to gap you can look straight to Dave East who was a Division I ball player playing with the likes of Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley before flying out to OKC to work on music in KD’s home studio.

Over at The Checkdown on they’ve put together a series of famous album covers replaced by NFL stars further thinning the line between sports and music fame.

Check out the dope album covers like Michael Jackson’s Thriller accurately being replaced with Odell Beckham Jr. and Atlanta Hawks coach Dan Quinn being put on Kendrick’s DAMN. cover.

Odell Beckham Jr. as Michael Jackson’s Thriller

This is a pretty accurate comparison if you consider just how outgoing OBJ actually is. His hair, dance moves, and eccentric personality make him just about the best athlete to compare to the King of Pop. Beckham also immortalized the late Jackson by tattooing the singer on his body a few months ago.

Dan Quinn as Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN.

DAN. Original Album: DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar Release Date: 4/14/2017 Coach Featured: Dan Quinn

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The parallel to the mood Kendrick emits on DAMN. and Dan Quinn’s salty stare as his team became the victim of Tom Brady’s record-breaking comeback is amazing.

After the Super Bowl, many Falcon fans could only say “Damn” after everything was over. I’m sure head coach Dan Quinn wishes he could hit the rewind button like Kendrick did at the end of his album.

Peep the rest of the hilarious album cover conversions and try to make your own connections between the artist and athlete.

Peyton Manning as Kanye’s The Life of Pablo

Rob Gronkowski as The Clash’s London Calling 

Devonta Freeman as Devo’s Freedom of Choice 

Freeman, DEVOnta Original Album: Freedom of Choice by Devo Release Date: 5/16/1980 Player Featured: Devonta Freeman

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Dak Prescott as J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only 

4 My Receivers Only Original Album: 4 Your Eyez Only by J. Cole Release Date: 12/9/2016 Player Featured: Dak Prescott

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(I feel like this should’ve been reserved for Colin Kaepernick but whatever).

DeAndre Hopkins as Dr. Dre’s The Chronic 

The Nuk, DEANDRE Original Album: The Chronic by Dr. Dre Release Date: 12/15/1992 Player Featured: DeAndre Hopkins

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Cam Newton as Chance’s Coloring Book

Coloring Book Original Album: Coloring Book by Chance the Rapper Release Date: 5/13/2016 Player Featured: Cam Newton

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Marshawn Lynch as Bob Marley’s Legend, The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers