BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – A city councilman in a small Cattaraugus County community is catching a lot of attention with a video he posted on his Youtube channel on Saturday.
The only written description of the video is ‘Up next, Kevin gets high, Happy 4-20’. It’s posted on the youtube channel of Olean City Councilman, Kevin Dougherty who has no regrets starring in that video. “Just wanted to make a point. A lot of people in this city are marijuana users, whether it’s medical or recreational,” said Dougherty. “This is getting close enough, where me doing this helps push the government in getting it legalized.”
Dougherty is running for his third two-year term as 4th Ward Council member. After interviewing people on the streets of the small southern tier community, it’s hard to tell whether this will hurt or help his future as a City Councilman.
“I’m not against the legalization at all, but I think you should have some class if you’re gonna be in the office position and people are looking to you with respect,” said Olean resident Kyle Maynard.
Nickey Nichoson sees it differently. “I feel that if he’s on his own time and not going to go to a meeting at that time, it’s okay.”
Olean resident Robert Vaughn feels it took guts for Dougherty to post the video but he also feels it will hurt the councilman’s political future. “Yeah, some people, the older people especially, they’d say ‘what the heck is he doing’ and he’s showing young kids that’s getting passed on.”
Olean Police Chief Jeff Rowley tells News 4 he can’t press charges. There is no way to prove there was actually marijuana in that bong, and Dougherty won’t give police any statement. “I did check with my attorney and the recommendation from him was to plead the fifth, which is my Constitutional right as well,” confirmed Dougherty.
The Olean Mayor and some of the Common Council members are out of town this week, so Council President John Crawford tells News 4 it’s unclear what if any action the council may decide to pursue. Crawford would favor, at the very least, some discussion about creating ethics rules for Olean lawmakers.
Dougherty is glad he got this discussion going. “I just hope that people do their research, people keep an open mind, stay progressive moving forward with our society and it should be legal soon.”