After announcing run for U.S. Senate from Louisiana, Gary Chambers Jr has announced his inaugural campaign advertisement. Throned in a blue-cushioned seat in an open field, the Baton Rouge-born freely puffs a joint in the short ad, aptly titled ’37 Seconds’. The ad opposes current Senator John Neely Kennedy (R-La.) who was elected in 2016.
In voiceover narration, Chambers speaks about statistics surrounding marijuana, including racial disparities where Black people are four times more likely than white people to be arrested for possessing the substance.
“Every 37 seconds, someone is arrested for possession of marijuana,” Chambers says in the ad. “Since 2010, state and local police have arrested an estimated 7.3 million Americans for violating marijuana laws, over half of all drug arrests.”
According to The Advocate, ’37 Seconds’ was filmed in New Orleans where City Council recently passed an ordinance for police to refrain from arresting or citing people with small amounts of marijuana. In a new law that went into effect earlier this month, a “smokable” form of medical marijuana is now available at licensed pharmacies in Louisiana.
Chambers, who was eliminated in last year’s U.S. House election for Louisiana’s 2nd District, also advocates the expungement of criminal records for those with minor marijuana offenses.
“For too long, candidates have used the legalization of marijuana as an empty talking point in order to appeal to progressive voters,” Chambers tweeted in tandem with the ad. “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new conversation that creates the pathway to legalize this beneficial drug, and forgive those who were arrested due to outdated ideology.”
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