Jay-Z Ad Campaign Challenges Cannabis Regulations

There is a new campaign targeting outdated cannabis regulations and the harm that they continue to cause.

Shawn ”Jay-Z’ Carter and his cannabis brand Monogram this week announced the launch of a nationwide awareness campaign that focuses on the hypocrisy of current cannabis regulations throughout the United States.

The Monogram brand debuted in December 2020.

Monogram is currently running the campaign in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Miami.

The company has plans to expand to additional cities by the end of March.

Shock Value

The campaign uses shocking-yet-factual headlines to provide perspective on cannabis legalization.

Playing with fire is only a crime sometimes

Nobody should get lit up for lighting up.

“Weed is a federal crime,” reads one of the ads. “Even in the states where sex with farm animals isn’t.”

“You can marry your first cousin in more states than you can buy recreational weed,” reads another.

Behind each of the eight headlines are images of individuals who have been charged for cannabis-related offenses.

Additionally, Monogram will release video testimonials from each of the eight individuals sharing their firsthand experience with inequitable punishment for cannabis offenses in the United States.

Monogram will present the videos via YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and the company website.

Monogram says its campaign showcases the lack of progress made since the War on Drugs began decades ago and the outsized consequences that continue to affect the victims.

Carter says that cannabis laws are out of date, disproportionately cruel, and punishing compared to the rest of the legal code.

“We still don’t have proper regulation for texting and driving in Missouri, but staying home and smoking weed will get you locked up,” says Carter. “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.”

Cannabis edibles are better than a cannibal's edibles.

Cannabis edibles are better than a cannibal’s edibles.

While there has been progress, Monogram says that political agendas and arbitrary borders stigmatize cannabis and determine who can benefit from it.

Moving Forward

Monogram says that it aims to shed light on antiquated regulations by juxtaposing them with more divisive realities, depraved vices, or dangerous transgressions.

Vices and dangerous transgressions such as cannibalism and flamethrowers, which Monogram says are still permitted “in the eyes of local lawmakers.”

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

Monogram says that its campaign imagery of real people negatively impacted by the drug war underscores the fact that there is still significant work to repair past injustices.