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Louisiana Senate Candidate Smokes Pot In Campaign Video To Push For Weed Decriminalization

Democratic Louisiana Senate candidate Gary Chambers took a controversial approach in his campaign ad by lighting up a joint in support of marijuana legalization.

The commercial certainly got critics and supporters talking when he unveiled the ad on Tuesday. In the clip, Chambers sports a blue suit and tie while seated in a field. He sparks up and takes a pull from the rolled weed as his voice narrates in the background.

“Every 37 seconds, someone is arrested for possession of marijuana,” he explains before adding, “States waste $3.7 billion enforcing marijuana laws every year. Most of the people police are arresting aren’t dealers but rather people with small amounts of pot, just like me.” The now-viral video has garnered over five million views on Twitter and over one million on Instagram. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CY30977JPiv/

Chambers says he had no idea that the ad would create so much conversation but is pleased to know that so many people care about the decriminalization of marijuana use in Louisiana. 

This video highlights an issue that has resulted in unfair prison sentences, largely for Black Americans over the years. Despite much research that shows most adults in the U.S. support legalizing marijuana for recreational and medical use, national decriminalization has been a slow process. 

Chambers’ home state is making some progress, however. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed a bill in June of last year reducing penalties for small amounts of the drugs. Earlier this month, medical marijuana became legal in Louisiana. Act 424 allows patients to purchase up to two-and-a-half ounces of weed from dispensaries every two weeks. New Orleans has also taken steps to reduce penalties for marijuana possession. While these are extraordinary measures, the country still has a long way to go, and Chambers is looking to lead these efforts. The American Civil Liberties Union reported that as of 2020, marijuana arrests had ticked upwards, with every arrest and punishment being more severe for Black people. 

Chambers is looking to take Republican Sen. John Kennedy’s place, who was initially elected in 2016 after winning his seat by a mere 21 points. Another Democrat, Luke Mixon, also has his sights set on the seat. In the 2021 congressional special election, Chambers ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary to replace Rep. Cedric Richmond, who later joined Biden’s administration as a senior advisor and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Chambers ran an impressive campaign, only narrowly missing the two-person runoff. That campaign attracted celebrity supporters, including Susan Sarandon and Milla Jovovich, who were drawn to Chambers’s progressive politics that would benefit millions in his state. In addition to drug policy reform, the 36-year-old is pushing for a minimum wage increase and healthcare reform.

Despite Louisiana being 33 percent Black, there has not been a Black person elected to statewide office in the state since Reconstruction. For this reason, the charismatic Senate hopeful is eager to make history in the state. 

Learn more about Gary Chambers at chambersforlouisiana.com.


Blogged by @Thefineauthor

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