New Pro-Marijuana Mayor Shakes Up Texas Town of Whitewright

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WHITEWRIGHT, TX -- About 50 miles northwest of Dallas, in the small town of Whitewright, a newly-elected, pot-friendly mayor is already shaking things up.

Jeremiah Looney - yep, he's now known as Mayor Looney - says things weren't quite right in Whitewright.

"The city and the citizens were at odds," Looney told NewsFix. "The citizens were not happy."

Resident Ryan Murphy agrees: "The City Council meetings had become incredibly acrimonious.  We were ready for a change."

Enter Looney, an Army veteran who served in Iraq.  He says medical marijuana eased his PTSD and saved him from suicide.

"Within six months of smoking it I realized it wasn't that bad," Looney said in a taped speech earlier this month. "I could talk about what I'd been through, and it saved my life."

But he says his pro-medical marijuana activism wasn't a part of his mayoral campaign.

"That wasn't a part of my platform for the city or anything," said the mayor. "That's just my personal stance on it."

Well, Looney won the election and was sworn in last week.  By Friday, 5 city employees - among them the police chief and city judge - had resigned, citing Looney's stance on cannabis as the reason for their departure.

So, is Whitewright too anti-weed for Looney to lead? Murphy doesn't seem to think so.

"I think a lot of people around here agree that if medical marijuana usage for post-traumatic stress disorder helps our veterans, then I think we as a country should be behind it," he said.

As for Looney, he says he doesn't intend for pot to define his career as mayor.

"Right now, I'm here for this city," Looney said. "If my activism needs to take a backseat for a while, that is 100% okay with me."

Man, remember when politicians' careers would go up in smoke if they admitted to inhaling?  Times sure are a-changin'.