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U.S. Senate Candidate Smokes Weed in Viral Campaign Video

A candidate seeking to represent the state of Louisiana in the U.S. Senate released a campaign ad on Tuesday that puts marijuana front and center.

In the video, Gary Chambers Jr., a Democrat and social justice activist, sits in an armchair in a field smoking a cannabis blunt and lists statistics about the harms of criminalization.

The ad is titled “37 Seconds,” a reference to a research finding that police in the U.S. make a marijuana-related arrest every 37 seconds on average.

“Black people are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana laws than white people,” Chambers says. “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.”

In a statement to CNN on Tuesday, Chambers said it is “long past due that politicians stop pretending to be better or different than the people they represent,” adding that it’s time to overhaul the criminal justice system’s treatment of marijuana possession.

“Some parts of the country are fighting opioid addictions and creating millionaires and better schools from the marijuana industry. Others are creating felonies and destroyed families. I can’t stand for that,” Chambers said.

Meanwhile, Chambers has also thrown his weight behind the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, a bipartisan bill to protect financial institutions that service state-legal cannabis businesses. That legislation has cleared the House in some form five times but has consistently stalled in the Senate.

Marijuana Moment reports that Chambers isn’t the first person running for Congress who’s been open about flouting federal marijuana prohibition.

Anthony Clark, an Illinois candidate who ran an unsuccessful primary challenge against a

Democratic congressional incumbent in 2020, made waves after he smoked marijuana in a campaign ad while discussing his personal experience with cannabis and the need for federal reform. He also hosted what he called the “first-ever congressional weed party” in a campaign video.

According to a report released by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2020, Black Americans are nearly four times more likely than White Americans to be arrested for marijuana possession despite similar usage rates.



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