Bob Brady is done with Congress. But is he ready for reefer?

Brady on Thursday ended two decades of service in the U.S. House. That got us thinking about something Brady told us two weeks ago as we trailed him from Philadelphia to the District of Columbia in the final weeks of his term.

The chairman of the Democratic City Committee said he had never smoked marijuana and wanted to try it. Was it legal in Pennsylvania now? he wondered aloud in a car headed for the Capitol.

“I’m gonna do it," Brady declared. "And I ain’t gonna wait for the law. I could care less.”

The good news: Brady has agreed to let Clout document his first time sparking up. The bad news: He changed his mind and now says that won’t happen until it is legal.

Here again, there may be a mix of good and bad news.

The Pennsylvania path to legalization of marijuana is uncertain at best. Gov. Tom Wolf said last month that it is time for the state to “take a serious look” at the issue, but leaders of the Republican-controlled General Assembly slammed his remarks on legalization as reckless.

Across the Delaware River, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy won office in part on a pledge of legalization, even if that effort is stalled in the Legislature at the moment.

Brady throws a “Brady Bunch" party each July in North Wildwood, not too far from his beach house there. If legal by then, this could be an excellent time to kick back and experience the surfside kush.

How did we get here? Brady said he told the students in the Organizational Dynamics class he taught at the University of Pennsylvania that he had never smoked marijuana but planned to try it. A student came up to him after class and offered him three joints.

He laughed and gave them back. Something tells us that kid got a good grade anyway.

As you might imagine, Brady is a traditionalist. He flatly rejected the idea of marijuana edibles.

“I want the smell, I want to pass the joint, I want the laughing bag. I want all that s---," he said. "I don’t need a godd--n strawberry.”

Sounds motivated, right? But don’t pass the dutchie just yet.

“I’ve waited this long already, might as well wait until it’s legal,” Brady told us. "Maybe I’ll smoke with you.”

The Mummers (non) blackface backlash

A pair from Finnegan N.Y.B dresses up as Jay-Z walking Mayor Kenney during the Goodtimers Comics division in the Mummers Parade at City Hall in Philadelphia January 1, 2019.
Margo Reed / Staff Photographer
A pair from Finnegan N.Y.B dresses up as Jay-Z walking Mayor Kenney during the Goodtimers Comics division in the Mummers Parade at City Hall in Philadelphia January 1, 2019.

It’s a Philadelphia tradition. First, we have a Mummers Parade on New Year’s Day. Then we have a Mummers controversy. Finally, some people get together to talk it out.

State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams has called on the Legislative Black Caucus in Harrisburg to meet with the Mummers to talk about the Finnegan New Years Brigade Comic Club skit from Tuesday’s parade.

Quick recap: The Mummers re-created a Signe Wilkinson cartoon, showing rap star-turned-music mogul Jay-Z walking Mayor Jim Kenney on a leash, drawn after hizzoner backed down last summer from plans to move the Made in America Festival from the Ben Franklin Parkway.

City Council President Darrell Clarke inaccurately accused Finnegan of using blackface, but Darrel Young, the Mummer who portrayed Jay-Z, is actually black and, as Kenney’s staff clarified, was performing a city-approved skit.

Williams agreed with Clarke’s second take on the matter, that it was offensive and racist even if Young is black. And the senator from West Philly, who lost the 2015 Democratic primary for mayor to Kenney and might challenge his bid for a second term in May, accused the mayor of minimizing the harm.

“The mayor doesn’t quite get it,” Williams said. “It doesn’t matter whether the performance was in black face or a black face — racial insensitivity has no place in Philadelphia.”

Williams didn’t want to talk about the 2019 primary on Thursday. But remember a standard rule in politics: Never let a controversy go to waste.

Kenney on Thursday said he understood “why the skit was offensive to people,” given the “long history for racist themes in the parade.” The mayor said the Mummers “still have much more work to do” and his administration will expand efforts to ensure the parade represents “diverse viewpoints.”

Mummers spokesperson George Badey said no invitation has arrived from the Legislative Black Caucus. But he was open to the idea, as long as the meeting is about making the parade more diverse and not about scoring political points.

“I want the meeting to be a forward-looking, positive-focus meeting, not a meeting that is about chastising anyone,” Badey said. “Basically, we want their help. They’re leaders in the African American community.”

Quotable:

Desiree Peterkin Bell leaves the Criminal Justice Center Thursday. DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer
DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer
Desiree Peterkin Bell leaves the Criminal Justice Center Thursday. DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer

“Justice for Jazmine. … That’s my platform.” — Former City Representative Desiree Peterkin Bell to reporters and television cameras as she was leaving the Criminal Justice Center on Thursday after waiving her preliminary hearing on felony charges, accused of misspending nearly $250,000 in public money. Peterkin Bell was referring to Jazmine Barnes, a 7-year-old who was killed Sunday in a drive-by shooting in Houston. She refused to comment on the charges against her.