Anne Armstrong is a write-in candidate for the Rhode Island gubernatorial race.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A write-in candidate in Rhode Island smokes what she says is pot in a Web video
  • The candidate, Anne Armstrong, is running for governor
  • She’s making marijuana legalization the central premise of her campaign
  • A number of former politicians advocate for pot legalization

(CNN) — A medical marijuana advocate turned write-in candidate for Rhode Island governor has garnered instant social media attention by smoking what she says is pot in a campaign video.

But her media stunt comes with a more serious political message about pot legalization.

“I’m Anne Armstrong, and I’m going to be the next governor of Rhode Island,” she says in the minute-and-a-half-long video. “And I hope that during my tenure, I will be able to dispel a number of misconceptions about cannabis use.”

Armstrong, who said she smokes cannabis every day, uses it for medicinal purposes, and also argues that it helps her focus and communicate with people around her. In the video, she takes a hit off a pipe after insisting that pot users “shouldn’t be ostracized or marginalized.”

“It doesn’t make people crazy the way you’ve been told,” she says. “We’ve been lied to for a long time by our government, and something that’s been essential to our health has been taken away from us.”

“Yes, I do smoke cannabis. And yes, I do inhale,” she says, invoking former President Bill Clinton’s famous “didn’t inhale” remark during his first run for President in 1992.

The stigma about marijuana has clearly lessened since Clinton’s comment. Then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2006 admitted, “I inhaled — that was the point.” And he went on to be elected.

‘I like weed, and I’m a good person’

Both Obama and Clinton have now said states should be able to carry forward with medical marijuana, as Armstrong says she uses. But it is the official position of the Department of …read more