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McDermott smokes joint in Senate campaign video

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Thomas McDermott, Jr. YouTube video
A joint is passed as Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. grins in the background, in a screenshot from a video for McDermott's U.S. Senate campaign.

A mayor, two attorneys, a doctor, a distiller and a city council member share a joint — not the setup to a 4/20 joke but a campaign ad for a U.S. Senate candidate.

Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott's video begins with him lighting up a joint — purportedly one mile over the Illinois state line — and saying, "The legalization of cannabis is important to this campaign." The Democrat says it needs to be legalized on the federal level and also in Indiana. The video also touts the medical and economic benefits of marijuana, while decrying the negative impacts of criminal charges.

Meanwhile, U.S. Representative Frank Mrvan (D-Highland) recently voted in favor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. "What I see is that when we talk about decriminalizing marijuana, that a lot of individuals in Black and Brown communities are in jail where a lot of the states have made it legal, and we need to have an understanding as the United States, a comprehensive plan to be able to address the issue," Mrvan said during a press conference in Gary Wednesday.

Mrvan declined to make any predictions on the bill's future in the Senate but noted that "elections have consequences."