Cities & Communities
Could it truly be a coincidence that April 20 lands only five short days after Tax Day? Surely the Internal Revenue Service orchestrated this calendar synchronicity, understanding that after another harrowing round of W-2s, 1099s and 1040s, many Americans relish the hard-earned opportunity to illegally relax, while conveniently relieving their glaucoma in the process. Legally, in some states. If they have glaucoma. Or a doctor who will say they have glaucoma. Or backaches sometimes. (For the uninitiated, “420” is a code for pot smoking and April 20 a sort of countercultural holiday.)
The simple state-to-state disparity of the legality of marijuana already undercuts the authority of America’s modern “War on Drugs” — a war originally declared by Richard M. Nixon largely in response to the discovery of high rates of heroin addiction in American soldiers in Vietnam. But the unjust rates of incarceration among blacks, Hispanics and the poor highlight why the war we have been fighting for decades should itself be considered illegal.
There must be something amiss if Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, former Representative Ron Paul of Texas and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, despite having different views on drug legalization, can all agree that the War on Drugs is fundamentally flawed. Mr. Paul has long favored ending the federal War on Drugs, while Governor Christie recently called it a failure. Though he does not support legalization. Governor Cuomo has introduced plans to bring fairness, through decriminalization methods, to the racial imbalance of marijuana-related arrests in New York City.
To us, the harmony of these criticisms begged to be recast as harmony of the musical variety. With the help of a supporting cast (including Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes of “Jay and Silent Bob” fame), the governors and the former congressman are almost able, in song, to resolve the dissonance of this failed policy.
The Gregory Brothers are Andrew, Michael, Evan and Sarah (who is married to Evan) Gregory. They are best known for their YouTube music-video mash-ups, including the series Auto-Tune the News and Songify This! in which they make songs out of non-songs and unintentional singers out of intentional speakers. They also produced a series of political Op-Docs, including “Patriot Game,” during the 2012 presidential campaign. They live in Brooklyn.