Listen to this article here
Sign-Up for a free subscription to The Black Wall Street Times‘ daily newsletter, Black Editors’ Edition (BEE) – our curated news selections & opinions by us for you.
In his new “37 Seconds” campaign video, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Gary Chambers of Louisiana lights a doobie. Without dry-mouth, he discusses what we’ve all known for some time–marijuana laws are outdated and particularly harsh when it comes to Black people.
Our country’s laws should reflect the evolution of its population yet antiquated and draconian marijuana laws still exist on America’s books, which criminalize and penalize with the severity of a DEA Schedule 1 Drug to this very day. And Heroin is a Schedule 1 drug!
There have been countless studies citing the benefits of marijuana. Now, Chambers aims to spark change in a tangible and quite literal way.
The Senate hopeful stated “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new conversation that creates the pathway to legalize this beneficial drug, and forgive those who were arrested due to outdated ideology.”
Pushing past the propaganda
A large segment of our country was once propagandized into believing the hoopla surrounding 1936’s Reefer Madness was true and smoking cannabis would somehow make you temporarily insane. (Good thing they didn’t have edibles in 1936).
However, we now know for a fact it’s much less harmful than originally thought. States are slowly but surely grinding their old laws into dust.
As of Jan.1, Louisiana’s smokable medical marijuana became legal under certain circumstances. However, it’s far from recreational, unlike 18 other states and counting. Recreational marijuana is not a blip. It’s the trend, and states who embrace this reality are being compensated for their chill vibe.
While individual states dictate their own marijuana policy, many activist groups say it’s high time to enact federal reforms to release non-violent confined prisoners, educate citizens on their state’s laws, and lobby to enact permanent change that reflects our society.
Chambers shared the blunt truth in his campaign ad and didn’t mince words; in 2022 for someone to be arrested every 37 seconds for mere marijuana possession is insane. Nonviolent Black and Brown bodies have been the conduit for which the prison industrial pipeline has churned for so long, and it won’t be until federal laws are passed that we can all breathe with ease.