This is what I wrote in my first Column of 2015:
“2014 was a weird year for me, and good riddance. I started out 2014 in the horrible Burlington County Jail and ended it as the writer of this weekly column for The Trentonian – yeah, that’s weird! … My new year’s resolution(s): to eat better and to open a religious temple in Trenton that provides marijuana to its congregants.”
Those were the resolutions I made for 2015; as I’ve gotten older, each year I’ve taken the age-old ritual of making New Year’s resolutions more and more seriously. 2015 was just the first time it was so public. Since this is the first time I’m “Passing the Joint” for 2016, let me share with you how how I did last year.
Actually, I had four resolutions: Eat better, stop begging for money online, learn an instrument, and reopen the Liberty Bell Temple III.
(1) Eat better. Succeeded. I started the year at 229 and I’m ending it at 256, so there’s little doubt I’m eating more, but I also think I’m eating better. I’m eating very little beef, no pork, lots of fish, chicken, and vegetables—just way too much of it all. (I’ll explain why after a few puffs and a couple paragraphs.)
(2) Stop begging for money online. Succeeded. At the beginning of 2014 I was in the Burlington County Jail because Judge Dementia forgot he agreed to a “stay of sentence”; anyway, after getting out and trying to restart my life, I did a lot of embarrassing Internet begging throughout 2014. People around the world liked me and my activism, and I’m grateful to those who helped me. But that was depressingly traumatizing to my self-esteem! So going into 2015, I decided to take the advice of my Publicist, Makeda Smith of Jazzmyne Public Relations: “Never say you’re broke. Seek supporters and like-minded thinkers to join you.” It worked. (I’ll explain how after another puff and another paragraph.)
(3) Learn an instrument. Failed. I decided I wanted to learn to play the guitar and/or bass. I admit, I’m jealous of singers and musicians. I don’t envy good-looking dudes or athletes, but I’ve always wished I could compete with a singer, a musical artist type. I regret turning down my mother’s attempt at giving me piano lessons. Mainly it’s a macho thing for enticing women—LOL. I don’t have problems meeting women, but always wished I had a musical talent to make certain types of women swoon or to share music with someone close to my heart. I’ve always coveted that image of me and a woman making music. Miraculously I was given both a guitar and a bass this year, and I never followed through on starting lessons. (So this now tops my 2016 list!)
(4) Finally but most significantly: Reopen the Liberty Bell Temple. Here I SUCCEEDED extremely well. In 2008 my New Year’s resolution was to move to California and open a Cannabis Temple, which I did—it was called the Liberty Bell Temple II. At the behest of the Christie Administration, my California dreamin’ was destroyed by the U.S. DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency). So my 2015 resolution to open the Liberty Bell Temple III (LBT3) in Trenton as a Cannabis Temple like I had in Hollywood was really thinking big. And we did it, opening at 322 East State Street right across the street from City Hall.
The LBT3 complex encompasses three adjoining storefronts: (1) a restaurant, “THE NJWEEDMANS JOINT,” and it’s the reason I referred to earlier as to why I now eat more and better food; (2) “THE SANCTURARY,” which is the Cannabis Temple; (3) a 420 convenience store we call the “STASH SPOT,” which is a spoof of Kevin Smith’s Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash in Red Bank, NJ. I’m trying to produce it all as a reality TV show featuring Trenton and its people and businesses that “make so the world can take”…a puff!
On a personal note, I didn’t do any of it alone. I also entered 2015 single, depressed, and wondering why I had no serious girlfriend. But during the course of the year I got me one; I’m not single anymore, I have a women friend now, Debi Madaio who also gave me the guitar and bass, both hers from a musical past...maybe we will make music this year. Debi not only gave me the instruments but was also instrumental in creating the Temple because she is a like-minded thinker who joined my vision for the Liberty Bell Temple III and made it happen.
In my 1/2/2015 Column, “WE THE PEOPLE ARE WINNING,” I also said: “I believe I will have a major victory here in the state courts of New Jersey. New Jersey court watchers and media representatives are closely watching my case – State of New Jersey v. Forchion, A-004052. In it I’ve challenged the very constitutionally of the current New Jersey 2:C criminal laws that classify marijuana as having ‘no accepted medical use’ (and is thus illegal), while simultaneously having the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Compassionate Use Act that specifically recognizes marijuana’s medical acceptability. This opposition in two current laws creates a devilish unconstitutional duplicity.”
I was wrong; the NJ Appeals Court denied my appeal in August 2015, surprising me by allowing this [farce and mockery of due process] to continue and then just this Dec., the NJ Supreme Court allowed the Jim Crow marijuana laws to persist by refusing to even hear the case. I promise I’m not done with this case, so—off to the federal courts in 2016.
On an uplifting note, despite this setback from both the NJ Appeals Court and NJ Supreme Court, the NJ legislature has a marijuana-legalization bill making its way through the Assembly. On the national level, the Obama Administration ordered the Justice Department to leave medical marijuana states alone. Hopefully, that will keep me from having a repeat of my DEA experience in Los Angeles…OMGanja L.A. Parker wrote his last 2015 Column calling for Legalization 12/30 “Legalization of marijuana leads to worries of pot heists”. Don’t pass me a JOINT pass me that Bong!
So all in all, I ended 2015 a whole lot happier than I started it. I even see light at the end of my poverty tunnel….
My New Year’s Resolution for 2016: 1) Learn to play my guitar and bass; 2) resume online begging for supporter funds to support the LBT3 (LOL!); 3) seriously engage in the Politics of Pot as the director of The Legalize Marijuana [political] Party. 4) Build the LBT3’s cannabis congregation.