A Louisiana Democratic U.S. Senate candidate is seen smoking a blunt in a New Orleans field in his first campaign ad. In the 37-second ad, titled ” 37 Seconds-Legalize Marijuana,” progressive activist Gary Chambers Jr. says “every 37 seconds” someone is arrested for cannabis possession in the U.S.
“Since 2010, state and local police have arrested an estimated 7.3 million Americans for violating marijuana laws,” he says in the ad.
Chambers also highlights the disproportionate effect cannabis laws have on the Black community and the money spent on cannabis enforcement.
“Black people are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana laws than white people. States waste $3.7 billion enforcing marijuana laws every year.” — Chambers, “37 Seconds”
The candidate notes that the majority of people who police arrest for cannabis “aren’t dealers,” but are arrested for possessing small, personal amounts of cannabis, “like me,” he said.
Chambers is an entrepreneur from Baton Rouge and co-founder of the media outlet, The Rouge Collection, according to his campaign website.
His home state of Louisiana has seen some cannabis laws relaxed in recent years. In 2021, the state decriminalized 14 grams of cannabis. On January 1, smokable cannabis became available in Louisiana medical cannabis dispensaries. The New Orleans city council went even further, expunging 10,000 cannabis possession crimes for those convicted after 2010.
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