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Another U.S. Senate Candidate Tokes in Campaign Ad in Indiana |

Kissing babies is out, toking up is in—in Indiana, that is.

Thomas McDermott (Democrat) ran a new commercial that showcased the latest trends in political advertising.

McDermott is seen sitting in a group with other people, sparking up an idea on camera. 

“The legalization of cannabis is important to this campaign,” McDermott said in the nearly two-minute ad. 

McDermott becomes the second Democratic Senate candidate to smoke marijuana on camera in this ad. 

Gary Chambers (running for the U.S. Senate from Louisiana) made headlines in January with his campaign video, in which he smokes a blunt. 

McDermott, who is challenging Republican Senator Todd Young in this year’s midterm election, released the ad on Wednesday—4/20. 

“Even on #420day not many Senate candidates admit to having smoked weed. I’m not most Senate candidates. I’ve been thinking a lot about whether to launch this video where I light up. It’s an issue that’s personal & important to me & so many,” McDermott, the mayor of Hammond, Indiana, said in a tweet.

McDermott, who is pictured in an ad with other people, sits in a group circle in a backyard located one mile from Illinois state line. This is where recreational cannabis legalization has been implemented. 

“My whole adult life I’ve been surrounded by people––successful, creative people––who smoke weed and who are dying for this to happen. We’re ecstatic that it’s happened in Illinois and Michigan so that we can buy it legally, but why not Indiana?” an attorney named Shana says in the video.

Mike, a professional distiller, touts the economic impact of legalization in Indiana’s neighbor to the west.

“Now we have farms in Illinois where cannabis is being grown. You know the economic benefits it has. Not only for the state, but for smaller towns as well,” he says.

McDermott has been rated as a longshot. Cook Political Report currently rates the Indiana Senate race as “solid Republican.” 

McDermott, Chambers are pushing for legalization at the same time that the Senate is preparing legislation to repeal the federal ban on marijuana. Although the Democratic-led House of Representatives approved its legalization bill earlier in the month, the Senate is divided between Republicans and Democrats. 

“Here’s the bottom line: we need to legalize marijuana on the federal level,” says in the new ad. ‘We need to also legalize cannabis in Indiana as well, so Hoosiers can get the health and economic benefits of cannabis. That’s the future we all deserve.” 

Recent months have seen Indiana Democrats support legalization. In a November announcement ahead of the legislative session, the party said it was putting “its full support for the effort to legalize recreational cannabis across the state.”

“Legalizing marijuana in some form is supported by about 80-percent of Hoosiers and would provide the opportunity to create an additional revenue stream for the state, create good-paying jobs, develop a long-term cash crop for Indiana’s ag and business communities, provide medicinal opportunities for people like the state’s veterans and seniors, and could start the process of expunging records for simple possession across the state,” the party said in the release.

Mike Schmuhl was the Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party and he also pointed out McDermott’s successful legalization policies for Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

“Hoosiers have seen the impact that recreational and medicinal cannabis use has made on the states around us, and not only are they contributing to neighboring states’ economies, Indiana is now on the verge of losing out altogether. The Republican supermajority at the statehouse is losing its economic common sense if they do not join Democrats this session in making this opportunity a winner for the Hoosier State,” Schmuhl said at the time.