“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a new conversation that creates the pathway to legalize this beneficial drug and forgive those who were arrested due to outdated ideology,” said Gary Chambers Jr., a progressive activist, finished third in a special election primary race to fill former Congressman Cedric Richmond’s seat last year. He is running to challenge
“Every 37 seconds someone is arrested for possession of marijuana,” Chambers said in the video. “Black people are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana laws than white people,” Chambers said. “States waste $3.7 billion enforcing marijuana laws every year. Most of the people police are arresting aren’t dealers, but rather people with small amounts of pot, just like me.”
Eighteen states and Washington, D.C. have legalized small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-seven states have decriminalized possessing small amounts of marijuana. Louisiana enacted a law in 2021 that decriminalizes possession of up to 14 grams of marijuana. Those who are caught will face a fine of up to $100 but no jail time. In August, New Orleans pardoned about 10,000 people with convictions or pending penalties for small amounts of marijuana possession. “
o CBS News. “Some parts of the country are fighting opioid addictions and creating millionaires and better schools from the marijuana industry. Others are creating felonies and destroyed families. I can’t stand for that.” According to the ACLU, national arrest rates for marijuana possession were down from 2010 to 2018, but Black people were 3.6 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people in 2018. States that legalized marijuana had lower rates of racial disparities in marijuana possession arrests. A majority of Americans, 60%, have said that marijuana should be legal for recreational and medical use according to an April 2021 Pew Research survey. Another 30% of respondents said it should be legal only for medical use, while 8% said it should not be legal for any reason.
Gary Chambers Jr. picked up his first significant endorsement in an uphill U.S. Senate campaign when outgoing state Rep. Ted James announced his support Thursday.
James’ backing comes at a time when Chambers is trying to establish himself as a credible candidate, days after Chambers surprised observers by posting an ad online that showed him boldly smoking marijuana.
“I was shocked when I saw it. Politicians don’t usually do that. He’s definitely started some real conversations,” said James who just stepped down as chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus. He is resigning on Friday from the state House to become a regional administrator for the Small Business Administration.
Louisiana Republican U.S. Sen. John Kennedy is amassing a massive campaign fund war chest for his 2022 re-election bid, announcing he has $11 million in the bank for the race.
Kennedy’s report came a day after Baton Rouge community activist Gary Chambers Jr. joined fellow Democrat Luke Mixon, a retired Navy pilot, in the race.
“As Louisianans begin a new year, I’m again humbled by the support they’ve shown throughout 2021,” Kennedy said in a press release. “I’ll keep fighting for Louisianans and their families like I always have and will continue to proudly be their voice against all the madness in Washington.”
5%-36%. Louisiana has a Democratic governor but leans heavily Republican. Former President Donald Trump won the state by about 28 points in 2020. Kennedy, the state’s current GOP Senator, won by about 20 points during his 2016 race. Louisiana holds a “jungle primary,” meaning all candidates compete in the same primary.