An Illinois candidate for Congress has made changing the conversation around cannabis a key theme of his campaign — and he isn’t shy about sharing that stance with voters.
At a campaign event held last week, one he's calling the “first-ever congressional weed party in Chicago,” Democratic congressional candidate Anthony Clark encouraged voters to partake in weed and shots of alcohol.
“Get your blunt! We’re having a pretty dope day party,” he said in a video of the event held on Thursday, as quoted by Marijuana Moment.
“We just wanted to do something different,” Clark explained in the video. “I feel like we’re all out here in the struggle, we’re all out here living, we’re all out here grinding on a daily fucking basis.”
Clark is a special education teacher in Chicago and an Air Force veteran. He says that he experimented with marijuana in high school and then began using it therapeutically after being injured in a shooting in Seattle.
“Weed has literally saved my life. I’m a veteran with PTSD,” Clark said in the video. “It’s time we changed this narrative that exists, eliminate the stigma.”
Clark told those attending the campaign event/smoke sesh that the legalization of pot in Illinois, which became effective on January 1st, should be celebrated, “but there’s still a ways to go.”
Clark is running for a seat in the US House of Representatives in Illinois’ 7th Congressional District, which covers predominantly black neighborhoods in Chicago’s South and West Sides. In addition to calling for the legalization of pot at the federal level, he noted in the video that, in some respects, the War on Drugs continues in Illinois, where a portion of cannabis taxes is spent “jailing street dealers… who are predominantly black and brown in the poor communities.”
Clark fired up a blunt in a different campaign video that was released in November. He said then that he doesn’t hide the fact that he smokes pot because “if we really want to make change and we have a platform, you just have to be courageous with your platform.”
“I think I have to be just as open about my cannabis use because lying to individuals, I think, plays a direct role in enabling the status quo, in enabling the oppressors, the top one percent, to remain,” he added.
Clark’s run against incumbent Democratic Rep. Danny Davis has been endorsed by the Chicago Sun-Times, which wrote that the 7th District “deserves a representative who is impatient to change the world, which might be Clark’s best trait.” Clark also ran for the seat two years ago, winning 26 percent of the primary vote.
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