Some call Gov. Herbert’s ‘que pasa’ comment on marijuana racist; others say ‘lighten up’

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SALT LAKE CITY - Utah Governor Gary Herbert had some ideas on whether medical marijuana should be legalized in the state, but some feel he had a poor choice of words to convey that message.

"I've read the comments," said Tony Yapias, former Director of the Utah Office of Hispanic Affairs. "People say, 'throw him out! Kick him out!'"

Those comments were posted via online message boards and Twitter in response to what Herbert said on television Thursday.

"I think the discussion is now at hand, the time is nigh," Governor Herbert said of the discussion on legalizing medical marijuana. "But I'm not interested in having Dr. Feelgood out there say 'ya,ya, que pasa, here's your doobie for the day and you'll feel better.' That's probably not where I want to go."

It didn't take long for the messages to pour in online, as some in the Latino community were upset he chose to use the phrase "que pasa."

"That's super racist," one tweet read.

Another reads, "According to @Govherbert, people that smoke marijuana for the wrong reasons speak Spanish."

A call to Governor Herbert's office late Thursday was fielded by a spokesman who insisted Governor Herbert did not mean to affend anyone with his remarks, but did understand how it could have been perceived that way.

Many online thought he was making a reference from the movie "Cheech and Chong," but Governor Herbert's spokesman said it was actually a reference to a George Carlin bit. Admittedly, Herbert's team says his references may be outdated.

However, not everyone in the Latino community is upset by the remark.

"I know he didn't intend to do it with bad intention," Yapias said. "The fact remains he was trying to make a reference. Come on people. Que pasa? Lighten up."

16 comments

  • Daniel Gray

    And exactly what have you accomplished? Not a darned thing. The Commerce clause says that if a local or state law is in violation of a federal law, the federal law is superior. Meaning that you can still be arrested and sent to prison, as well as the people who sold you the pot and the doctors that prescribed the pot and even the law makers could be charged with the commission of a federal felony after the fact. So again dont you think it would be much smarter to go and get it changed at the federal level before you put yourself into a legal hole you cant get out of?

    • malcolmkyle

      Here are several extracts from an article posted at the ‘Tenth Amendment Center’ on 30th Dec 2015, it concerns Prohibition and Federal Law:

      “Of course, the federal government lacks any constitutional authority to ban or regulate marijuana within the borders of a state, despite the opinion of the politically connected lawyers on the Supreme Court. If you doubt this, ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to institute federal alcohol prohibition.”

      “FBI statistics show that law enforcement makes approximately 99 of 100 marijuana arrests under state, not federal law.”

      “Furthermore, figures indicate it would take 40 percent of the DEA’s yearly-budget just to investigate and raid all of the dispensaries in Los Angeles – a single city in a single state. That doesn’t include the cost of prosecution. The lesson? The feds lack the resources to enforce marijuana prohibition without state assistance.”

      “With nearly half the country legalizing marijuana, the feds find themselves in a position where they simply can’t enforce prohibition any more. The feds need state cooperation to fight the “drug war,” and that has rapidly evaporated in the last few years with state legalization, practically nullifying the ban.”

      “The lesson here is pretty straight forward. When enough people say, ‘No!’ to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to shove their so-called laws, regulations or mandates down our throats,” Tenth Amendment Center founder and executive director Michael Boldin said.

      http://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2015/12/vermont-bill-would-legalize-marijuana-for-recreational-use-effectively-nullify-federal-prohibition/

    • KellyEAndrews

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  • AVERAGEDUDE

    Folks who don’t like our governor are invited to vote for his opponent this coming November. Maybe they’ll have better luck than Cook and Corroon. They’ll need it. Meantime ….. que pasa.

  • Utah Red

    I think the governor was speaking historically. The following is a quote from a PBS site about the history of marijuana. “Mexican immigrants introduce recreational use of marijuana leaf
    After the Mexican Revolution of 1910, Mexican immigrants flooded into the U.S., introducing to American culture the recreational use of marijuana. The drug became associated with the immigrants, and the fear and prejudice about the Spanish-speaking newcomers became associated with marijuana.”

  • Mark Snuff

    Or maybe he wants to continue supporting the ‘for-profit’ prison system and maintain federal pot prohibition to wrongfully jail minor drug offenders and pass the blame on immigrants, idiot.

    • AVERAGEDUDE

      What’s unlawful about arrest slow learners who break the law Mark? Before you call the Governor an idiot you might want to present your bona fides. Did you graduate for college or are you employed at the local landfill?

  • liberalsbite

    The ONLY time ANY comment is considered racist is when it is spoken by a caucasian.When other ethnic groups are held to the same standards,I will start actually giving a shi*.I heard NO backlash from the media(or ANYONE) when black panther leaders threatened to “kill white babies in the womb” a while ago.Kind of a double standard huh?
    Welcome to obamas “new” america……..

  • metalbuoy

    Marijuana prohibitionists, like it or not, really are the racists still left in the country. Anyone who holds the belief getting plastered on jaegermeister is ok but those who smoke a joint are criminals are playing a racist game. Legalization is going to piss off a whole bunch of old-tyme racists. On both sides.

      • metalbuoy

        Obviously grandpa your iq isn’t high enough to grasp the reality that marijuana prohibitionists such as yourself are made from the same cloth that has old fashioned views on race, women, etc. Go get drunk and wreck your liver.

      • AVERAGEDUDE

        @METALBUOY
        Sorry little buddy but I prefer to spend my money on guns and ammo rather than booze. And yeah, I’m a little old fashioned. I still hold to the opinion that morons that want to smoke weed could save money by wrapping their lips around the tailpipe of their car.

  • AVERAGEDUDE

    @METALBUOY
    There is something refreshing about being old fashioned Metalbuoy. I don’t have to worry about fitting into some slot in the LGBTQQIP2SAA community. I don’t get confused about why boys should be attracted to girls, and I don’t buy into the idea it is OK to have two mothers instead of having one of each kind.

    Oh yeah, and I don’t see the benefits associated with screwing up a perfectly good brain with illegal pharmaceuticals.

    • metalbuoy

      Im not a big fan of homosexuality. If the government can discriminate against marijuana users people should be free to discriminate against homosexuals. Whats fair for one should be fair for all. Screw your america old timer. Ive got pot to smoke and youre boring me so im done with you. Death metal and 420!!

      • metalbuoy

        Far from it. Im certainly not some “average dude”, for example. I work 45-50 hours a week, made six figures last year, work out at the gym several nights a week, have high intelligence, don’t use alcohol because it’s poison, don’t smoke cigarettes which are poison, raised a daughter and have a stable life with my wife. If you wish to damn me for using cannabis, and my belief in libertarian values since I despise big government and progressives like chris christy and joe biden, then by all means, go ahead and demean yourself. You and I would never converse in real life and we aren’t going to converse on the silly web anymore, either. I prefer to talk to people who are enlightened and you, sir, have no hope in your old timer ways. You probably live in Iowa or Kansas?

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