Gary Chambers, a Louisiana Democrat vying to oust Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) from office, released a new campaign ad on Tuesday that features him smoking marijuana.
The ad, titled “37 Seconds,” features Chambers lighting up a blunt as he addresses the racial disparities of marijuana-related arrests and the costs affiliated with enforcing marijuana laws.
“Black people are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana laws than white people,” Chambers, a Black progressive community activist, says in the ad.
Chambers is one of two Democrats running for the opportunity to deny Kennedy a second term. The Louisiana Republican is a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump and he is widely favored to win reelection in the conservative state.
In a statement issued by his campaign, Chambers said candidates often use the legalization of marijuana “as an empty talking point in order to appeal to progressive voters.”
“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new conversation that creates the pathway to legalize this beneficial drug, and forgive those who were arrested due to outdated ideology,” he added.
Other congressional candidates have drawn headlines for smoking marijuana in campaign videos as a way to highlight the legalization effort, including most recently a House candidate in Illinois in 2019.
The recreational use of marijuana is legal in 18 states and the District of Columbia. With legalization widely popular with the American people, more states are likely to join their ranks in the coming years.