The Guy in the Purple Bong Suit

MADISON – The guy in the purple bong suit brought along a guitar and entertained – if that’s the right term – the council with song.

Then there was a masked man in a wheelchair.

That was Edward “Lefty” Grimes, the CEO of Sativa Cross, a non-profit that advocates for cannabis patients. And just for the record, the guitarist gave his name as Bongholeo.

Legalized marijuana continues to be eventful for local governing bodies.

Back in December, the borough council here rejected plans of 1st Choice Health and Wellness to develop a medicinal marijuana facility on Main Street. This came after many nearby residents condemned the idea as one that would bring crime, undesirables and general mayhem to the area.

And yes, this was a mere medicinal facility, which to the outside world probably would look like a doctor’s office.

Local elected officials often are prone to agreeing with the group of people in front of them at the moment, and that could have been what happened in December.

At the same time, it must be pointed out that this is an all-Democratic council and Democrats, generally speaking, are less Puritanical about these sorts of things than Republicans. So one must ask, go figure?

This set the stage for a meeting last week in which the council adopted three ordinances that essentially formalized the position that pot facilities of any kind are not welcome in the borough.

But not before a public hearing.

A handful of medicinal weed supporters griped about the “fear mongering” at the previous meeting and stressed how cannabis helps many people who are truly ill and in pain.

Then we got to the main event.

Lefty Grimes, the masked man, excoriated the council for discriminating against disabled veterans by “banning” medicine.

“God is watching,” he said.

Then we had the appearance of Bongholeo who sang about the benefits of weed.

The council seemed impassive through much of this, but some in the audience were less accommodating.

One woman who supported the council said she worried about walking home after observing the antics of Lefty and his friends. She also objected to Lefty filming the events on his phone.

Democracy can be messy, you know.

As was pointed out, just about all the council’s critics were from out of town. That was one obvious reason why the council paid them no heed.

When the performance ended, the relevant ordinances were passed unanimously with no discussion.

So now it’s over.


A check of one of Lefty’s social media pages spoke of “fighting ignorance,” but also said he plans to return to Madison for what he termed “wheelchair access issues.”

Borough Hall, which is officially the Hartley Dodge Memorial, was built 90 years ago.

Guess we’ll have to wait to see if his next visit will also include music.

And just a footnote: Madison residents overwhelmingly backed the referendum for legal weed in 2020.

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