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A Democrat vying for a U.S. Senate seat in the state of Louisiana has gotten a lot of attention for his controversial decision to smoke marijuana in a campaign ad.
The ad, titled “37 Seconds,” featured candidate Gary Chambers smoking the substance, while the voice-over discusses his stance on the issue.
“Every 37 seconds, someone is arrested for the possession of marijuana,” he says, lighting up. “Since 2010, state and local police have arrested an estimated 7.3 million Americans for violating marijuana laws; over half of all drug arrests.”
Then he invoked race, saying that “Black people are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana laws than white people.”
Watch the 37-second ad:
“States waste $3.7 billion enforcing marijuana laws every year,” he continued. “Most of the people police are arresting aren’t dealers, but rather people with small amounts of pot just like me.”
Chambers tweeted the ad, adding that he hopes it “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new conversation that creates the pathway to legalize this beneficial drug, and forgive those who were arrested due to outdated ideology.”
It has racked up 4.2 million views on Twitter, and the reaction was swift, though not entirely negative:
Car jackers are walking free in my neighborhood, booked and released, where are people going to jail for a small amount of MJ, 🤣 good one…
— Jesus Fentanyl Christ (@FunnyBeardMan) January 18, 2022
Hello, Gary! Great piece! One of the first steps that we should be utilizing is calling it by its actual name “cannabis”. Nicknames like “weed”, “marijuana”, “pot”, are all derogatory terminology, usually driven by racial disparities through the course of history. 👍❤️👍
— Micheal Lemus-Fletchall (@PSSNoLimit) January 18, 2022
Breaking the law on camera counts as a campaign ad?
— Matt (@LibertyMatt88) January 18, 2022
It may not seem like a major issue to you but imagine if you spent 20 years in jail for possession of weed, it would certainly be a bigger issue than you not being able to get your favorite pre-packaged salad
— Christian (@VanWhosYoDaddy) January 18, 2022
This. Is. Incredible!!!!!!! 🏆
As a Louisiana woman who owns a medical dispensary here and also lives in Washington and owns an adult-use cannabis company there, this is by far the boldest and truest campaign ad EVER!!! YOUR STATS ARE COLD, HARD FACTS!! THANK YOU and GOOD LUCK!
— leah simon (@leah600) January 18, 2022
I am on the right but I believe the prohibition on marijuana needs to end people should be free to use it if they wish.
— jacobsilken (@jacobsilken) January 18, 2022
I’ll need to know the rest of your policy positions before I can support…but this ad is good.
— Helena 🌴MisfitMixedChick🌴 (@Sisterray63) January 18, 2022
The platform & promises can be whatever you want them to be, but the reality of working in the Democratic Party is that you will be made to dance to the corporate tune, or you will be silenced.
— ☭ Socialism for All ☭ Socialism 4 All ☭ S4A ☭ (@SocialismS4A) January 18, 2022
And don't just legalize it, but expunge the criminal records of ALL nonviolent drug offenders!
My state even has provisions for getting drug "offenders" involved in the growing cannabis industry. This should be done at the federal level, too!
— Karistina Sedai the Autistic Fae (@RealKaristina) January 18, 2022
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