BET’s ‘Smoke’ shows how Black Americans deserve a piece of marijuana’s growing fortunes

Like all good documentaries that tackle a complex and broad subject, “Smoke” (co-produced and narrated by rapper Nasir “Nas” Jones and directed by Erik Parker) emphasizes the big picture first, through marijuana’s influence in the music industry. Recalling his jazz-musician father’s use of marijuana, Nas introduces the viewers to the idea of the drug as a benign and presumed part of life rather than as an illicit vice — a conduit rather than an affliction. Others acknowledge the drug’s creative influence, while journalists who write about Black culture help pinpoint marijuana’s role in art and lyrics.

“I just like smoking weed,” singer Ty Dolla $ign says. “It’s just something I do. I’m definitely one of those people where my brain is doing 2,000 things at once. For me, it’s more a thing that keeps me focused on whatever I’m doing. . . . I see the light, you know what I’m saying?”

“Smoke” takes an abiding interest in the ways marijuana was…

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