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Weed-smoking U.S. Senate candidate makes waves with digital campaign ad

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 10:23 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -The image of a marijuana-smoking candidate vying for a U.S. Senate seat certainly evokes emotion.

Reporter: “Was that marijuana you were smoking in the advertisement?”

“Absolutely,” said Gary Chambers.

Emotion is exactly what Gary Chambers says he was going for.

“We knew that it was going to be bold, you know, we know that we can be criticized for it. But we also know that at the end of the day, this is the right side of history. And I always want to stand on the right side of history,” said Chambers.

He shot the digital ad in New Orleans, a place where the city council already passed ordinances ending jail time for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

“Most of the people police are arresting aren’t dealers, but rather people with small amounts of pot like me. I’m Gary Chambers,” the ad said.

Chambers says he hopes to bring cannabis reform efforts to the federal level.

“We are missing out on billions and billions of dollars that can be brought into our public education system. Louisiana ranks number 50 in the nation, overall number 50 in crime. And so any sheriff who tells you that we need to keep laws against cannabis, well, it’s not helping to solve crime right now. And we have the highest homicide rates we’ve had ever in Louisiana right now,” said Chambers.

“From the outset, Gary Chambers’s bid is a longshot,” said Mike Sherman.

In a state like Louisiana, Fox 8 political analyst Mike Sherman says his opponent, Republican Senator John Kennedy holds a lot of influence.

“John Kennedy has two things working in his favor. He’s an incumbent standing up for reelection, and he’s republican and one of the deepest red states in the country that makes him a formidable opponent… For Gary Chambers starting the campaign in such a provocative way, really suggests he’s trying to make a point by being in this race, not actually trying to win the seat by carving out a position that could lead to an electoral majority,” said Sherman.

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