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Gary Chambers Jr.

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U.S. Senate contender Gary Chambers wants to legalize marijuana.

On Jan. 18, the steadfast Lousiana Democrat released a surprising campaign video titled “37 Seconds” pushing for new policies to decriminalize weed. In the video, the Baton Rouge community leader can be seen smoking a huge blunt as he kicks back in a comfy leather chair while giving some startling facts in regards to how marijuana laws disproportionately impact the Black community.

“Every 37 seconds, someone is arrested for possession of marijuana,” Chambers says in the video, adding that Black people have suffered from incarceration the most because of unfair policies stigmatizing the community. “Since 2010, state and local police have arrested an estimated 7.3 million Americans for violating marijuana laws — over half of all drug arrests. Black people are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana laws than white people,” he added.

 

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Chambers took to Twitter following the ad’s release to provide more clarity on the issue.

“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new conversation that creates the pathway to legalize this beneficial drug, and forgive those who were arrested due to outdated ideology,” he wrote.

The star Democrat is currently running up against Republican Sen. John Kennedy, who has been a representative of the state since 2017. Election season will kick off later this year on Nov. 8, 2022.

Chambers pulls no punches. Folks may remember the passionate activist for shutting down a Baton Rouge school board meeting in 2021. While denouncing the confederate naming of a school, Chambers called out “Connie,” a white board member for doing online shopping while the meeting was in process:

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Marijuana arrests have been on the decline since legalization in a few states including New York, California, and Delaware, however, racial disparities still continue to plague Black and Brown community members, according to Ezekiel Edwards, director of the Criminal Law Reform Project at the ACLU.

“Many state and local governments across the country continue to aggressively enforce marijuana laws, disproportionately targeting Black communities,” he explained. “Criminalizing people who use marijuana needlessly entangles hundreds of thousands of people in the criminal legal system every year at a tremendous individual and societal cost. As a matter of racial justice and sound public health policy, every state in the country must legalize marijuana with racial equity at the foundation of such reform.”

Prior to legalization, marijuana incarceration rates soared in some states “with almost 100,000 more arrests in 2018 than 2015,” the ACLU reported.

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