Is US Senate candidate Thomas McDermott Jr. a friend of cannabis? In honour of 4/20 yesterday, the politician released a new video ad with him smoking cannabis.
Thomas McDermott is the Democratic contender who will face Republican Senator Todd Young on November 8th. The 56-year-old has been vocal about legalizing cannabis. However, this is the first time a potential US senator has smoked weed on camera like this.
Politicians as Friends of Cannabis?
Thomas McDermott is a lawyer and mayor of Hammond, a suburb of Chicago. He posted the now-viral video on Twitter. In it, the friend of cannabis is sitting in an Illinois backyard, “one mile from the Indiana state line,” where cannabis is legal. McDermott is talking to a couple of lawyers, a doctor, and a distiller about the benefits of legal cannabis.
“Here’s the bottom line. We need to legalize marijuana on the federal level,” says McDermott in the video. “We need to also legalize cannabis in Indiana as well, so Hoosiers can get the health and economic benefits of cannabis.”
“I’ve been thinking a lot about whether to launch this video where I light up. It’s an issue that’s personal and important to me and so many,” McDermott says in the video.
The friend of cannabis says most political figures wouldn’t admit to smoking cannabis at all. Let alone do it on camera. “I’m not most Senate candidates,” says McDermott.
Cannabis in Indiana
Thomas McDermott posted the video the same day (April 20th) the state Democratic party launched a legalization campaign. The Indiana state-level party is making themselves out to be friends of cannabis, despite never legalizing before. Indiana does not allow for medicinal or recreational use of cannabis. CBD was only legalized in 2017 for epilepsy patients (a year later it was legalized for everyone).
Indiana is also the birthplace of the Church of Cannabis. In 2015, the church sued the state government over religious liberty infringements.
Thomas McDermott faces Republican Senator Todd Young on November 8.