St. Louis Cop Moonlights as Pro-Pot Advocate

By Victoria Kim 07/09/13

Sgt. Gary Wiegert now has permission to enforce marijuana laws by day and fight to reform them by night, he tells The Fix.

Sgt. Gary Weingart at his day job Photo via

A St. Louis police sergeant has been granted permission to moonlight as a pro-marijuana advocate, after initially being denied. Sgt. Gary Wiegert enforces pot laws "like anything else" when he's on duty, he tells The Fix: "It's the law of the land." But off-duty, he now lobbies for Show-Me Cannabis—a Missouri-based organization that advocates for pot decriminalization, industrial hemp and medical marijuana. Wiegert—a 33-year police veteran who also lobbies for the St. Louis Tea Party in his spare time—says he has never smoked marijuana himself, but he doesn't believe others should be jailed for it. "Hopefully we can change some of [the laws], like putting people in jail for marijuana possession," he says. "The whole process is time-consuming and costly. We should treat it like a traffic ticket." When Wiegert's initial request to lobby for Show-Me was rejected by the St. Louis Police Department, he filed a complaint with US District Court claiming a violation of his First Amendment rights to free speech. Last week, the department withdrew its rejection and told Wiegert that he's approved to campaign for marijuana law reform. Most of his fellow officers support his advocacy, he says—though not openly. "In public, nobody says anything," he tells us. "But in private, policemen call me aside because a lot of them believe marijuana should be regulated and taxed. They feel like they can talk to me about it."

These comments represent Gary Wiegert and not the stance of the St. Louis Police Department.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr