Senate hopeful Gary Chambers Jr. smokes marijuana in viral video
The whole country is freaked out after a politician deliberately smoked marijuana in front of the camera in an online video ad. Gary Chambers Jr., an up-and-coming Louisiana politician who ran well for the U.S. House of Representatives last year, is using social media and marijuana to draw attention to his Senate bid.
On Tuesday, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana smoked a blunt end (or a marijuana-filled cigar) for 37 seconds in an online video ad.
He took the time to lay out arrest statistics in the United States, noting that blacks are four times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession. Chambers posted the video to his YouTube and Instagram accounts.
The video is the first time a major party Senate candidate has admitted to smoking marijuana — let alone showing himself in the act. Chambers is running for the Senate in a state that is 33 percent black, but has not elected a black person to statewide office in 149 years.
The state has more than 3 million registered voters, but the Senate seat currently held by Republican Sen. John F. Kennedy won the election by just 536,204 votes in 2016.
Louisiana’s demographics are strikingly similar to Georgia, which elected two Democrats to the Senate last year. Chambers hopes the publicity he gets from his public smoke will draw attention to the opportunity to change the Louisiana Senate seat.
‘We need Democrats to focus on Louisiana like Georgia does,’ Chambers Tell Forbes in an interview on Tuesday. “I took a puff and everyone is talking about it now,” he said.
The political freshman is working to oust Kennedy, who has nearly $10 million in campaign cash.Chambers had about $170 on hand, according to Associated Press. He tweeted urging his followers to share the ad and donate to his campaign.
His progressive policies include legalizing adult-use marijuana, expanding Medicare coverage to everyone, and supporting President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda.
Chambers and his campaign filmed the video in New Orleans, where penalties for marijuana users are similar to violating the city’s smoking rules.It’s a slightly looser policy than elsewhere Louisiana State, possession of marijuana has been legalized since August 2020. The maximum fine for possession under 14 grams is $100.
That’s not the case in neighboring Texas or Alabama. Possession remains a misdemeanor and can result in a smoker being stopped and searched. According to NORML, searches often lead to more serious or violent police interactions.
Nationwide legalization would create a standard set of laws for every American citizen, but would need to overcome huge hurdles in Washington. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Senate Democrats support legalization, but there is still a lot of stigma about using the drug.Chambers told Forbes That is false.
“I know a bunch of politicians and businessmen who smoke marijuana,” Chambers said. “Someone has to go out and do it. It’s not that controversial.”