Mid-Term Elections in the US are well known as a means of providing a vote of confidence, or otherwise, on the current administration and the sitting President. With a Democrat in the White House and a slim majority in both the House and Senate proponents of legalization of marijuana at the federal level have perhaps been disappointed that little progress has so far been made.
It is fairly well established that Democrats, publicly at least, appear to be more in favor of legalization, whilst Republicans are less convinced or completely opposed. So maybe that is why a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana released a 37-second video that shows him smoking pot on camera.
In Louisiana medical marijuana is now legal. But recreational marijuana is yet to become a reality. At the present time, the state classifies it as an illegal hallucinogenic substance, punishing possession with monetary fines and jail time.
Gary Chambers, a Democrat, is hoping to unseat Senator John N. Kennedy, a Republican who has represented Louisiana since 2017. Sitting in a high-backed leather chair and casually smoking a cigar-sized blunt, he says, “Every 37 seconds, someone is arrested for possession of marijuana.” Then he goes on to detail a number of ways in which the unequal enforcement of laws against the drug has harmed Black people in particular.
Chambers describes himself as “a simple God-fearing man, family-focused, business owner, community activist” from Baton Rouge. In an interview he said he smoked a real joint because it was important to be “very direct about the issues that we’re facing.” If it’s fair for people to make millions of dollars for selling cannabis, he asked, “Why are people going to jail for this?”
Clearly aimed at gathering support for his campaign and looking for votes from those supporting marijuana legalization and Black people he said he was a little surprised that his video had garnered the traction it has. However, he is “not mad that it did.”.
The video can be viewed here: Or at least it can unless YouTube decides to remove it!