By Emily Ledger
A US Senate candidate has released a campaign video in which he smokes cannabis – to show his support for cannabis legalisation and solidarity for those imprisoned for minor cannabis offences.
The video of Democratic Senate candidate Gary Chambers Jr has gone viral on Twitter after he posted it to his personal account.
Chambers Jr is hoping to challenge Louisiana’s Republican Senator John Kennedy later this year – however, he must first win in the open primary contest.
Accompanying the video is a voiceover by Gary Chambers Jr which states: “Every 37 seconds, someone is arrested for possession of marijuana.
“Since 2010, police have arrested an estimated 7.3 million Americans for violating marijuana laws. Black people are four times more likely to be arrested for Marijuana laws than white people.
“Most of the people police arrested aren’t dealers, but rather people with small amounts of pot… just like me,” he adds.
My first campaign ad, ‘37 Seconds.’ #JustLikeMe
I hope this ad works to not only destigmatize the use of marijuana, but also forces a new conversation that creates the pathway to legalize this beneficial drug, and forgive those who were arrested due to outdated ideology. pic.twitter.com/G0qKvmUGKD
— Gary Chambers (@GaryChambersJr) January 18, 2022
In the caption for the video on Twitter, Chambers Jr explains that the ad – named ’37 seconds’ – was created with an aim to ” destigmatise the use of marijuana”.
This is not the first time that Gary chambers Jr has run for office. His first attempt was in 2019 when he won 26% and lost to Senator Regina Barrow, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
In his second run for office in early 2021, Mr Chambers Jr campaigned to replace Cedric Richmond in a Congressional district in New Orleans. Later that year, after gaining a strong following on social media, Chambers Jr won 21% of the vote in the March primary, narrowly missing out on a spot in the runoff elections.
Chambers Jr is strongly identified with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and has expressed support for the Green New Deal and the Medicare for All universal healthcare plan, as well as raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.