Snoop Dogg was a coke dealer before he decided to become an advocate for marijuana, reveals Netflix documentary
The popular rapper also argued that hip hop and its messages had done more for the war against drugs than authorities
'Grass is Greener', the documentary directed by Fred Braithwaite, who you may better know as Fab 5 Freddy, is set to release on Netflix on April 20 and will explore America's complicated relationship with weed, marijuana, grass, pot, reefer, or whatever you want to call it.
In the documentary, Freddy lays down the country's undeniably racially biased history of the war on marijuana through the lenses of popular forms of music that have been most influenced by the plant — jazz, reggae, and hip-hop — and interviews some of its prominent advocates.
Unsurprisingly, this includes Snoop Dogg, whose outspokenness for weed is quite possibly as much a part of popular culture as his music. In fact, it's almost unheard of for the rapper to appear on television these days without a blunt in his hand, despite it having gotten him in trouble in the past on numerous occasions.
A cursory look at his legal record reveals that he has run into trouble with the law for possession of marijuana at least eight separate times, including arrests and fines for misdemeanor marijuana possession in Los Angeles in 1998, Cleveland in 2001, and Sierra Blanca in 2010. However, he did manage to escape jail each time after being handed out suspended sentences and community service instead.
His penchant for carrying some green wherever he goes is something that has seen him run into trouble with immigration authorities as well. He was banned from entering Norway for two years in 2012 after he was found to have entered the country with around eight grams of marijuana. He had been similarly banned from entering Australia a few years earlier in 2007, with the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship citing his "prior criminal convictions" as the reason.
Nonetheless, it could have been significantly worse for the rapper by his own admission. During an interview for 'Grass is Greener,' he reveals that not many people know he used to be a dealer for cocaine and it was one of the reasons he got into smoking weed.
"The era before me, they was on PCP, heroin, uppers, downers, all kinds of s***," he says, referring to the influx of drugs into the black community during the 80s. "And I don't know if people know this, I was a cocaine drug dealer. It was to the point where I had seen so many people destructively die and get hooked on that s***."
Snoop also said hip hop and its messages against hard drugs had done a better job with the war on drugs than the government. "How many hip hop artists do you know that built record labels, gave opportunities, showed people how to make money other ways? Like, that's the war on drugs, not locking m****f****** up and coming in the hood, just harassing people, and planting drugs on people. We're not the war on drugs, we're fighting the war on drugs."
"My mission was to get everybody hooked on chronic [weed]," he continues, lighting a blunt at the same time. "We wanted to do something that was fly and every time we seen somebody smoking weed in the '70s, they was fly as a motherf*****. And every time we seen an entertainer or singer that was weed related, they was fly as f***. Anything that was related to weed was always cool s***.
It's not just empty words either. Keeping in tune with his outspoken advocacy for weed and in a bid to promote its benefits, he launched a new digital media business called 'Merry Jane' — another one of the many terms used to describe weed — that focused on news about the plant. He called it "cannabis 2.0" and said it was a "crossroads of pot culture, business, politics, and health."
Snoop then took advantage of the numerous states in the US legalizing recreational marijuana to become the first major celebrity to brand and market a line of legal marijuana products in November 2015.
Called 'Leafs by Snoop', the company's line of products include marijuana flowers, concentrates, and edibles. "Leafs By Snoop is truly the first mainstream cannabis brand in the world and proud to be a pioneer," he said at the time of its launch. "LBS is blazing a trail for the industry."