Cannabis has been around for ages and has been the talk of the nation since certain states are now making the consumption of this flower legal. Advocate around the world have been coming together to spread the knowledge of cannabis and how it can help the body and mind.
Visual artist, hip hop pioneer, filmmaker, activist cannabis activist, and founder of B NOBLE, Fab 5 Freddy is spreading the word on cannabis, after partnering with Curaleaf and Bernard Noble (who spent time in prison where he spent many years and hard labor for 2 grams of marijuana). They managed to educate the masses…with an upcoming Netflix documentary called “Grass is Greener”, I had an opportunity to talk with Fab 5 Freddy, about his relationship with Bernard, and his views on cannabis. Here’s what he had to say…
- (2 Part Question) I understand the reasoning and story behind the brand B Noble. But (1) how did you transition from being a pioneer in hip-hop to becoming a passionate cannabis advocate?
As we know, cannabis has been a part of hip-hop culture for decades. Unfortunately, during the time when hip-hop was birthed in the 1970s, and throughout the next few decades, it was criminalized heavily in African-American communities. Our communities were traumatized by the effects of the War on Drugs for decades to come, and rightfully so. Since 1970, the majority of individuals arrested on drug-related charges have been African-American or minorities. This is due in large part to an imbalanced criminal justice system. I wanted to use my platform and influence to start doing something about this issue.
(2) What was the icing on the cake that made you go full-fledged with cannabis and this campaign?
Now, in an era where cannabis is becoming legalized and decriminalized in more places everyday, I wanted to do what I could to make sure that my people had a seat at the table. Companies like Curaleaf are committed to advancing cannabis equity and doing their part to help right the wrongs of the War on Drugs.
My good friend Khadijah Tribble is the Vice President of CSR at Curaleaf, and under her leadership, the company is doing a phenomenal job at addressing these issues in a genuine way that provides real opportunities for people. I wanted to use my voice to be a part of this, and help move it forward as best I could.
- (2 Part Question) (1) I understand you’re working with Curaleaf, a leading U.S. cannabis company. Why did you choose this specific company to partner with?
Honestly, Curaleaf has a genuine interest in positively impacting the community. Between their commitment to partner with 420 diverse suppliers and brands partners by 2025, and their promise to hire 10 percent of people that were incarcerated with cannabis convictions like Bernard, Curaleaf is doing the work to provide opportunities in our communities.
The B Noble campaign is a part of Curaleaf’s Rooted in Good CSR program, which is working to advance racial and social equity within cannabis and provide an opportunity to those directly impacted by the War on Drugs. There are millions of brothers and sisters behind bars just like Bernard, who we have to continue to fight for.
(2) Can you tell us more about the partnership and the B Noble campaign?
For sure. I founded the B Noble brand as a way to create legal funding to defend people from unjust, non-violent, cannabis-related jurisdictions, like Bernard’s.
In 2010, Bernard was stopped by a police officer, frisked, and arrested for possession of two joints’ worth of cannabis. He was sentenced to 13 years of hard labor behind bars. In 2017, his case picked up steam on social media, and became a national symbol of our country’s harsh drug laws, sparking advocacy and movement, which gratefully resulted in his early release after serving 7 years of his sentence.
Bernard is now a co-founder and beneficiary to the B Noble brand, as a way to elevate our mission of cannabis equity and decriminalization. His story and experience are reflected in the most recent product launch. The two pre-roll product is made up of two grams of cannabis total, which is the amount of cannabis that Bernard was arrested and sentenced for. The B Noble product is now available at Curaleaf locations in Maryland and Massachusetts and is expanding in states across the country very soon. Be on the lookout!
While Bernard gratefully was able to get a reduced sentence and do a 180 on his situation through the B Noble brand, we know that there is still work to be done.
- Outside of this campaign and Bernard Noble, is cannabis advocacy and equity a new lane that you’re looking to stay in?
I think so. Because cannabis goes so hand-in-hand with hip-hop culture, and unfortunately, the War on Drugs did so much harm to our community, it seems only right to do as much as possible in this new era of cannabis to reconcile our communities and provide a chance for people to become a part of the new, legal industry. Campaigns like B Noble are the beginning of a long road of work that needs to be done, and I want to be a part of that journey.
- Out of all the strains of cannabis, what is your go-to, and why?
Sour diesel, it blew up in the streets in New York when it hit! Sour diesel is a trusted, quality strain that will deliver every time.
Fab 5 Freddy’s documentary “Grass is Greener” on Netflix. This film is directed and narrated by Fab himself, and it explores America’s complicated relationship with cannabis and highlights personal stories of individuals who were wrongly impacted, such as Benard Noble. For more information about the B Noble brand and to learn more about their partnership head over to their official website https://b-noble.com
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