DFW NORML Interviews Hip Hop Legend Immortal Technique

Posted on: March 30, 2013

DFW Norml recently had a sit-down chat with the New York-based Peruvian American rapper Immortal Technique before his performance at Trees. As you’ll see, IT’s views on federal drug laws and their connections to various social ills are wide-ranging and passionate. Indeed, anyone who’d dismiss him as just another pissed-off hip hop artist isn’t hearing the frustration at injustice that he’s expressing here. He wants to be part of the solution, and he’s asking his fans – especially cannabis dabblers – to get involved in the reform movement.

As IT sees it, cannabis prohibition doesn’t just prevent citizens from gaining legal access to a natural herb with proven medicinal (and, of course, recreational) benefits. Prohibition helps fuel the whole incarceration industry by selectively targeting, prosecuting, and detaining people of color and those on the lower end of the income scale for non-violent “offenses.” (IT, who’s spent time in prison, wisely notes that inmates “separate themselves by color but are united by class”). He’s also aware that the powerful pharmaceutical industry and its lobbyists want to sell their own chemical remedies to the public and aren’t too keen on sharing that market with a legalized Uncle Hemp.

None of this means that IT is oblivious to the potential misuse of pot. Like any mind-altering substance, people need to take personal responsibility (“the essence of America,” as he puts it), such as not driving while stoned. And they need to ask themselves if they’re using marijuana, or any substance, to stay isolated from other people – a sure sign of addiction. Even reform advocates need to do some soul-searching. Do we want decriminalization or legalization? The latter opens the door to all kinds of government regulation that could very well affect the quality and supply of the herb.

But the bottom line for IT is: End prohibition and return the hemp plant and all its uses to the people. He’ll use every platform he can find – the stage, the recording studio, and web interviews like these – to continue the fight from where he stands.

So the question now is: How will you help end prohibition?

Herb’s the word.