This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Some Latino legislators in Utah say they were offended by Gov. Gary Herbert's highly publicized remark about medical marijuana.
Herbert, speaking at a KUED news conference Thursday, said he wasn't a fan of the idea of "having Dr. Feelgood out there say, 'Yeah, yeah. Qué pasa? Here's your doobie for the day and you'll feel better.' "
Rep. Mark Wheatley, D-Murray, said the governor needs to be aware that word choice is "extremely important."
"It's out of character for the governor to say things like that," Wheatley said Friday.
Jon Cox, Herbert's spokesman, said the governor did not mean to single out or mock any group.
"The governor's impersonation of George Carlin and his character 'The Hippy Dippy Weatherman' certainly fell flat, including the character's tag line, 'Que pasa?' In the future, we'll have the governor stick to policy and avoid dated pop culture references. No offense intended," Cox said.
Wheatley noted that few young people who know of the comedian George Carlin, and despite the governor's efforts to be funny, the impression came off as insensitive.
He said he and other lawmakers, such as Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, received calls from constituents who felt the governor was "stereotyping" the entire Latino community as people who are "going out smoking doobies."
"And it came across as a flippant way of responding to medical marijuana," Wheatley said, "especially for those individuals who are looking for a solution or a remedy for their pain and suffering."
Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, joined Wheatley, Romero and Sen. Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City, in a statement responding to the governor's remark.
"What the governor has done, whether he realizes it or not, is point to the people in my district and say 'other,' " Hollins said.