OLEAN – An Olean politician is stirring up the internet after celebrating 4/20 by lighting up at his home over the weekend.
Fourth Ward Alderman Kevin Dougherty (R) told WNYNewsNow he smoked marijuana in a YouTube video to take part in civil disobedience with the hope to raise awareness that “anti-marijuana laws are arbitrary.”
“I typically don’t partake in 4/20,” said Dougherty. “I’m a beer drinker, I drink a glass of wine here and there, cigars on my birthday kind of thing. That is the extent of my smoking.”
Dougherty said that around eighty-five percent of constituents that he talks to are for legalizing recreational marijuana. He said most people he knows are marijuana smokers who are part of the “persecuted minority,” something he hopes will change soon.
“Every so often someone, will offer me some marijuana. It’s not like I’m being offered meth or crack,” said Dougherty. “It’s like someone offered me a cigarette.”
Dougherty said his YouTube page serves as a stress reliever where he posts weekly videos to chat with constituents. Dougherty said he also streams city council meetings to his channel to increase transparency within government.
The Alderman was elected in 2016, and his term expires at the end of the year. Dougherty said he plans on running for re-election as a registered Republican.
4/20 reportedly started in San Rafael, California in the 1970’s. In some states, 4/20 is police code for marijuana smoking in progress.