A video of a US Senate candidate smoking weed has gone viral after he posted it on Twitter.
Gary Chambers Jr., a Democrat and social justice activist, is depicted seated on a chair and puffing on a rolled blunt in the video.
He cites arrest numbers for Black Americans for marijuana possession while smoking; he said that this video is an attempt to spark what he calls "a new conversation" around the drug.
Gary Chambers Jr. hopes to run against Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana at the US mid-terms in Autumnl, assuming he wins the open primary.
His first campaign video drew a lot of attention on the internet, thanks to its strong narrative and visuals. The video, titled 37 seconds was posted to Mr Chambers Jr's personal social media platforms and depicts him smoking.
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"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new conversation that creates the pathway to legalize this beneficial drug, and forgive those who were arrested due to outdated ideology," he wrote in a tweet, sharing the video.
My first campaign ad, ‘37 Seconds.’ #JustLikeMe— Gary Chambers (@GaryChambersJr) January 18, 2022
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new conversation that creates the pathway to legalize this beneficial drug, and forgive those who were arrested due to outdated ideology. pic.twitter.com/G0qKvmUGKD
“Every 37 seconds, someone is arrested for possession of marijuana. Since 2010, police have arrested an estimated 7.3 million Americans for violating marijuana laws. Black people are four times more likely to be arrested for Marijuana laws than white people,” he added.
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Speaking to CNN, Chambers said it is "long past due that politicians stop pretending to be better or different than the people they represent," adding that he believes it is necessary to overhaul the criminal justice system's treatment of cannabis-related offences.
"Some parts of the country are fighting opioid addictions and creating millionaires and better schools from the marijuana industry. Others are creating felonies and destroying families. I can't stand for that," Chambers said.
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According to his campaign, the video was shot over the weekend in New Orleans, where the City Council took measures in August to abolish marijuana possession charges.
His video has received support, one person said: "I absolutely support your senate run & your helping to finally federally legalize cannabis."
The videography was also commended, another person said: "Bravo to whoever you hired to frame these shots cause they are [fire]".
Aneesa Ahmed is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter