US Senate candidate smokes cannabis in campaign ad in push for legalisation

Gary Chambers Jr is hoping third time’s the charm later this year when he runs for a Louisiana Senate seat

Tom Fenton
Tuesday 18 January 2022 19:55
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A US Senate candidate has gone viral after he shared a campaign video on Twitter in which he smokes marijuana.

Gary Chambers Jr is hoping to challenge the Republican Louisiana Senator John Kennedy this fall, as long as he can emerge victorious in the open primary contest.

“I hope this ad works to not only destigmatise the use of marijuana, but also forces a new conversation that creates the pathway to legalise this beneficial drug, and forgives those who were arrested due to outdated ideology,” Mr Chambers Jr captioned the video.

His first campaign ad certainly courted attention online, chiefly due to its powerful message and strong imagery. Shared to his personal social media pages, the video titled ‘37 seconds’ shows Mr Chambers Jr smoking.

“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,” he added.

“Most of the people police arrested aren’t dealers, but rather people with small amounts of pot... just like me”.

This isn't the first time Mr Chambers Jr has run for office. In early 2021, he campaigned to replace Cedric Richmond in a congressional district centred in New Orleans.

After cultivating a strong social media following, Mr Chambers won 21 per cent of the vote in the March primary, narrowly missing a spot in the runoff. He then endorsed state Senator Karen Carter Peterson of New Orleans, who lost the runoff to Troy Carter.

That was Mr Chambers Jr’s second failed attempt to win office. In 2019, he won 26 per cent in losing to state Senator Regina Barrow, in Baton Rouge.

In the current day, he strongly identifies with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, supporting the Green New Deal, the Medicare for All universal healthcare plan and a $15 per hour minimum wage.

Mr Chambers also asserts that he is a strong supporter of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better proposal, which has faced headwinds in the US Congress, as per Nola.com.

“We need elected officials who can help us build an economy so we can grow a state, its population and its economy,” Mr Chambers recently stated.

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