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Toking for Reform In the Criminal Justice System Law and Order

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in the criminal justice system law and order, Louisiana Politics, a social justice activist

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nothing like leading by example. A U.S. Senate candidate in Louisiana recently released a campaign ad to initiate a new conversation about marijuana by openly smoking it. Gary Chambers Jr., a Democrat and a social justice activist, appears in the ad sitting in a chair and smoking a rolled marijuana blunt. During this, he highlights the disproportionate arrest rates of Black Americans for marijuana possession. He added that his ad seeks to push reform in the criminal justice system law and order. This would entail the creation of a cannabis bill that would help encourage people to look at the brighter side of using cannabis in the realm of medical and recreational use.

Chambers hopes that the ad will not only reduce the stigma associated with marijuana use but also lead to discussions that pave the way for its legalization and provide forgiveness to those arrested due to outdated perceptions. He believes it is time for Louisana politics to stop pretending to be superior to the people they represent and address the unfair treatment of marijuana possession in the criminal justice system law and order. 

Chambers, who ran against Republican Sen. John Kennedy in last November’s primary election, emphasized that it is essential to bring about changes in how marijuana possession is handled. The campaign ad was filmed in New Orleans, where the City Council had taken steps in August to decriminalize marijuana possession. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, signed a bill in June 2021 that reduced penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Additionally, a new law expanding the availability of medical marijuana came into effect following its passage in the state legislature in 2021.

A 2020 American Civil Liberties Union report revealed that Black Americans are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than White Americans, despite similar usage rates.

Chambers further emphasized that the advertisement was intended to capture attention and draw focus toward a significant concern. Since the ad was launched, the video has received over 5 million views on Twitter, displaying its widespread appeal and viral nature. In addition, it has received over 1 million views on Instagram, proving its success across various social media platforms.



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