Political Insider

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Killer Mike’s 4/20 message on ‘joint effort’ to decriminalize pot

Hip-hop artist Killer Mike seized on the unofficial high holiday for the pot culture to light up inboxes with a call for “a joint effort” to legalize marijuana in Atlanta.

The rapper, whose real name is Michael Render, urged his fans to support Atlanta state Sen. Vincent Fort, who entered the mayor’s race with a vow to decriminalize pot.

“Look, I'm not just another rapper wanting to legalize marijuana because I enjoy smoking it -- this is MUCH MORE SERIOUS than that,” he wrote, citing a WSB report that showed an overwhelming majority of marijuana possession arrests involved black residents.

In a pun-filled email to supporters, he said the city needs a “new mayor who will stand up and fight for young people of color instead of just blowing smoke.”

“And if we can create a joint effort big enough to take on the corporate special interests, we will be able to do just that with Vincent Fort,” he added.

Fort is one of several Atlanta mayoral candidates who want to relax criminal penalties on possession of marijuana.

Councilman Kwanza Hall, another contender for the city’s top office, sponsored legislation that would eliminate jail time for people caught with small amounts of the drug; the city delayed a vote this week amid sharp debate.

Killer Mike, meanwhile, may one day have a political future of his own. He served as a surrogate for Bernie Sanders in last year’s Democratic presidential primary. And he’s hit the trail for Fort as the Atlanta mayor’s race heats up.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.