Today I received my first call from a wanted brown man asking what he should do. I instantly felt STONED. As a kid I read iconic Philadelphia Daily News Columnist Chuck Stone every week. I loved his writing style—out of the “white” box, from the minority perspective. He said things differently than a Caucasian Columnist on the same topic. Dozens of brown people turned themselves in to him instead of to police, he opined about things his white counterparts never considered because they weren’t minorities and didn’t experience the same world. As a kid I never imagined I’d be a Columnist, let alone receive calls from wanted souls seeking advice. I’ve gotten several requests from people asking me to write about their life perils and family court cases. (Trust me, I’m extremely aware of the abuses of family court thanks to Burlco Judge Maria S. Bell.)
Next week I’ll write about what came of this call. But this week I’m doubling down on last week’s Column: Trump.
Last week Donald Trump once again LIED. This time he said he saw thousands of Muslims in Jersey City celebrating 9/11—which is a flat-out LIE that many others are now repeating. Can you say revisionist Christian history? I remember soon after 9/11, watching the events from my Riverfront State Prison cell’s cable TV and seeing Palestinians in Gaza and Egyptians cheering Osama bin Laden’s revenge attacks. Nothing like that happened in the USA or it would’ve been on TV, on someone’s camera, and in the press. Local police would’ve responded to this, and it could’ve been on the front pages of national newspapers. I’m a news junkie; all I do is read, listen to, and watch news. A couple newspapers at the time actually printed that Israelis were arrested in New Jersey celebrating, but I’m sure TRUMP doesn’t remember this. It doesn’t fit the reality he wants to believe: http://tinyurl.com/whathappenedisraelis
A couple weeks ago my friend Vanessa Maria went to Paris for a vacation with her mother. She was so happy; I saw the bubbly anticipation on her face. I was actually a little envious—not in a negative way, but I sure wished I were going to France to chill. She stopped in at THE JOINT the night before her flight and jokingly said, “If I disappear…if you don’t hear from me for two days call the State Department, call Interpol.” I told her “Oh girl, ain’t nothing happening to you. Haha, here take this joint, don’t stress, have a ball, catch a French boy toy.” I never imagined what ended up happening.
Over the last two years I feel like Vanessa has become a real friend; so many people call Facebook IDs their friends without ever meeting them. I’ve hung out with her plenty of times at protests, rallies, and parties. She’s just cool to me. She’s one of those women who threw me in the friend zone, but that’s fine because I’m happy she’s my friend, so when news of the Paris attacks broke I panicked. It was terrorizing just knowing she was there.
This past week has been a memorable week for me for several reasons, but talk of legalizing the substance I enjoy and which has caused the government to ruin me tops the list.
Senator Scutari held a public hearing at the state capitol to explore the issue of marijuana legalization, a precursor to his sponsored legalization bill.
Scutari, who as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called the hearing and explained its purpose as "The first step” to introducing his bill (S1896) and “this is the natural next step — to talk about the benefits of legalization and the negative impact prohibition has had."
Scutari said that “he was following the lead of Colorado, which netted $2 million in sales tax the first month of legalization.” He said New Jersey “could realize at least $100 million in revenue, which he would divide between the nearly broke Transportation Trust Fund, drug enforcement, and women's health programs, which Governor Christie cut in 2010
For the last five years Governor Christie has obstructed the real implementation of CUMMA (New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act). Now he looks like a fool on the national stage because of his “Politics of Pot”(which is also the name of my latest book featuring GovernorChristie).
Marijuana is going mainstream; CNN has become the Cannabis News Network and Dr. Gupta is its main mouthpiece. The legalization movement has succeeded in advancing in 23 states, including New Jersey, toward a medical marijuana program. However some states have a more effective program than others. Embarrassingly, New Jersey’s medical marijuana program is considered a joke among patients because the products are limited to flowers (no tinctures or edibles), there are only three dispensaries serving a state with a population of nearly 9 million, and participation in the program is extremely expensive. Because of these factors, CUMMA simply doesn’t work; in fact, sadly, it’s a failure.