We all know the War on Drugs was an epic failure. Now, Senate candidates are finally admitting it. Louisiana Senate candidate Gary Chambers Jr. isn’t shy about calling it like it is. In his first campaign ad that aired earlier this week, he was featured smoking a blunt and explaining his stance. When we hear about cannabis arrest, it’s typically those possessing small amounts of weed versus the “big-dealers” that cannabis opponents claim they are targeting. In Chambers’ ad, “37 Seconds” – Legalize Marijuana, he’s seen smoking and recounting facts that are true for not only the country but, the South specifically.
Even for progressives, this is a bold move. Support for cannabis -whether it’s genuine or not- is growing. Comfortability or even consumption of cannabis on the other hand is something you don’t see often in federal spaces. Of course, some shy away because of federal law. However, if you support it, how has no one ever seen you openly consume it? Ever. It stands true to Chambers’ campaign slogan “Do Good, Seek Justice”. Those in positions of power have to do their part in changing the narrative and Chambers is doing a great job so far.
“JUST LIKE ME”
Chambers is running to replace Democrat turned Republican Senator John Kennedy. He’s been serving since 2017; but, considering the latest trend of shocking ads from progressives, this might be the move to unseat him. While the video’s content is nothing new for supporters of cannabis, the element of consuming weed on screen very much is. Most shyly refer to it or only voice support when pressed on the matter. There are exceptions but, never have I seen a Senate-hopeful use cannabis, let alone a blunt in campaign efforts. Chambers addressed the concern for shock value in his video on Twitter, however.
“My first campaign ad, ‘37 seconds’. #JustLikeMe
I hope this ad works not only to destigmatize the use of marijuana, but also forces a new conversation that creates a pathway to legalize this beneficial drug and forgive those who were arrested for outdated ideology.”-Gary Chambers Jr. Twitter
The state of Louisiana decriminalized small amounts of cannabis in 2015 with expansion to the law in 2020. It was only this year did they permit the possession of smokeable products. As many have pointed out, the laws have become more relaxed in the state but the South, in general, has a long way to go. Hopefully, Gary Chambers Jr. can help lead that change.