Ads From Jay-Z Battle Hypocrisy in Cannabis Laws

"Weed is a federal crime. Even in states where sex with farms animals isn't." "There's a state in American where cannibalism is technically legal and cannabis isn't." "The war on drugs worked. If systemic racism was the goal."


Such pointed copy drives fresh work from Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter's Monogram cannabis brand, which tackles the hypocrisy of the nation's marijuana laws in a series of stirring digital and out-of-home messages.


In each ad, stark white words overlay haunting images of eight folks charged with cannabis-related crimes.


"Cannabis laws are out of date and disproportionately cruel and punishing when compared to the rest of the legal code," Carter says in a statement. "I created this campaign to amplify the voices of those who have been penalized for the very same thing that venture capitalists are now prospering from with the emerging legal cannabis market."


"Far too often we forget that these are real people whose everyday lives and futures have been affected by this outdated legislature—people like Bryan Rone, who can no longer pursue a career in sales because of a cannabis-related conviction in 2003," Carter says.


Rone appears, along with others, in the campaign, which ultimately demands, "The hypocrisy of America's drug policy needs to end."


Randall Huft, CEO of The Innovation Agency, said the ads are an important reminder of the work that is left to be done in America.


"As the cannabis industry continues to grow and flourish, we can't lose sight of the fact that America's drug policies have ruined far more lives than they have helped, and we need to stay focused on righting these wrongs," he said.


The Innovation Agency (inov8.us) is one of the nation's leading cannabis-focused advertising and public relations firms, and created the first television commercial for a cannabis product in America. The company was not involved in the making of the ads for Monogram, but are often consulted on matters regarding advertising in the cannabis sector.


The work for Carter's Monogram brand launches this week in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Miami, with plans for more cities to come online by month's end.