US Senate candidate Gary Chambers smokes marijuana in campaign ad

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVLA) – U.S. Senate candidate Gary Chambers released his first campaign ad on Tuesday showing him smoking marijuana while listing drug statistics his campaign called “ alarming”.

Citing reports from the American Civil Liberties Union, Chambers, a Democrat running for a U.S. Senate seat in Louisiana, says in the ad that the U.S. spends $3.7 billion a year to enforce anti-terrorism laws. marijuana, and he pointed to a disparity in marijuana arrests.

“Every 37 seconds someone is arrested for possession of marijuana,” he says. “Since 2010, state and local police have arrested approximately 7.3 million Americans for violating marijuana laws, more than half of all drug-related arrests. Blacks are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana laws than white people.

He adds: “Most of the people the police arrest are not dealers, but rather people with small amounts of weed. Exactly like me.”

Medical marijuana became legal in Louisiana in 2019. In early 2022, smoking marijuana became available to patients after Governor John Bel Edwards signed House Bill 391 in July, but recreational use of the drug remains illegal.

Two statewide polls conducted last spring indicated that a majority of Louisiana residents support legalizing recreational use.

A poll, commissioned by the Louisiana Association for Therapeutic Alternatives and conducted by JMC Analytics and Polling, found that two-thirds of residents support legalization.

Another University of New Orleans poll found that 55% of residents support legalization.

Louisiana House of Representatives Speaker Pro Tempore Tanner D. Magee, a Republican, also commissioned a poll in his district last year that he said found 75% of those polled in favor of legalization. .

“I hope this publicity not only works to de-stigmatize the use of marijuana, but also forces a new conversation that sets the stage for legalizing this beneficial drug and forgiving those who have been arrested due to outdated ideology” , Chambers said in a press release.

Chambers unsuccessfully campaigned to represent Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district in 2020. He missed the runoff by 1%.

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