Senate hopeful smokes pot in campaign ad — Analysis
The Democratic Party’s messaging on marijuana has come a long way since Bill Clinton said he “didn’t inhale” it
Gary Chambers, a self-described “social justice advocate” and US Senate candidate from Louisiana, has released a campaign ad featuring himself smoking marijuana while railing against prohibition of the drug.
Released on Tuesday, Chambers’ video is entitled ‘37 Seconds’, a reference to the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) claim that someone is arrested for marijuana possession in the US every 37 seconds.
Slow-motion photos of Chambers smoking and lighting what is purportedly marijuana cigarette are shown. The Democratic candidate rattles off an array of reasons against prohibition, including the following: States have had 7.3 million Americans detained for using the drug in the past 10 years. “waste”Every year, $3.7 million is spent to enforce marijuana laws. Blacks are four times more likely than whites that they will be arrested for breaking the law. “most of the people”The police aren’t arresting dealers, but rather users who have small amounts of cannabis. All of Chambers’ cited statistics are attributed to the ACLU.
Despite literally filming and broadcasting himself consuming marijuana, he likely won’t face any legal trouble for the campaign ad. Louisiana legalized medical marijuana since its inception. In 2021, a Louisiana law made it illegal for anyone to possess more than 14g of cannabis.
“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new conversation that creates the pathway to legalize this beneficial drug, and forgive those who were arrested due to outdated ideology,”Chambers wrote Tuesday.
Chambers’ pathway to Washington, however, could be a difficult one. He came in third place in an open primary to contest Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District last year, with Democrat Troy Carter eventually taking the district’s seat. This district is home to almost the entire city of New Orleans, and stretches northwards to Baton Rouge. It’s the only Democrat-held in Louisiana. Even if Chambers wins his party’s nomination to fight for the Senate this November, he would face off against Senator John Kennedy – a Republican who won the election in 2016 by a margin of more than 20 points.
Whatever his chances at the ballot box, Chambers represents the continuation of the Democratic party’s embrace of cannabis. In the 1990s, Bill Clinton was the Democratic presidential candidate. He said that he had tried to grow cannabis on a reefer. “didn’t inhale,”Barack Obama stated that 10 years later, he was proud of his accomplishments. “inhaled … that was the point,”Although President Joe Biden previously promised federal decriminalization of possession and the legalization for medicinal marijuana,
Biden is yet to fulfill this promise, and marijuana laws vary between states. The sale and consumption of pot are fully legal in all 18 American states, the District of Columbia and 11 countries. Others have legalized marijuana possession and usage, while others include provisions to allow for medical use.