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October 19, 2012

High-profile state jury acquittal of New Jersey's "Weedman" on distribution charges

WeedmanThis local article, headlined "'NJWeedman' acquitted; Still faces prison time for possession," reports on a notable verdict in a high-profile state marijuana distribution case.  Here are the details:

Although a jury acquitted Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion of drug distribution on Thursday, the medical marijuana activist could still spend time behind bars for his love of pot.  Forchion, a Pemberton Township native who has long been a champion for the legalization of marijuana, was found guilty for possessing marijuana in a trial in May but a verdict could not be reached on the more serious distribution charge.

Forchion, who had been living in California, was arrested in Mount Holly in 2010 with a pound of pot in his trunk. After the retrial this week, the jury in Superior Court in Burlington County deliberated for only a short time on Thursday before returning a verdict of not guilty.  “I’m vindicated,” an upbeat Forchion said in an interview after the verdict announcement on Thursday.  “The people just don’t believe in the marijuana laws anymore.”

Forchion, 47, grew up in Browns Mills but later opened a medical marijuana dispensary in California.  He was arrested in April 2010 when he returned to New Jersey to visit his children and was stopped in Mount Holly with a pound of pot in his trunk. Since then, Forchion has heavily promoted his case in an effort to further argue against New Jersey’s marijuana laws.

Forchion was allowed to talk to jurors in both cases about his status as a licensed medical marijuana patient in California.  But he was barred from using his oft promoted “jury nullification” argument that would have asked jurors to disregard the state’s laws on marijuana use in determining a verdict that was instead based upon their own view of the substance.  “I think the jurors agree with me,” Forchion said Thursday.

But while avoiding the much more hefty weight of the drug distribution charge, Forchion still faces up to 18 months in prison when sentenced Jan. 17 for drug possession.  Forchion said he hopes the judge will consider the fact he is enrolled in a cancer study in California for painful tumors in his legs.

Forchion, who says he relies on marijuana to control pain from his tumors, has maintained that he never had any intent to peddle his “medicine” to others....  Forchion, a laid back, dread-locked Rastafarian who holds nothing back when it comes to his penchant for the wacky weed, has gained a large following of supporters.  He even admitted to jurors on Thursday he had eaten pot-laced cookies and brownies throughout the proceedings in court.

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October 19, 2012 at 08:44 AM | Permalink

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Comments

LOL so again we have a second illegal trial where a jury finds the defendant guilty of the lowest charge. Suprise! Not!

Posted by: rodsmith | Oct 19, 2012 11:54:26 AM

Millions of Americans use alcohol and marijuana, but while alcohol kills 80,000 people each year it's not even classified in the Controlled Substances Act, and although marijuana kills ZERO people each year it's classified in the MOST RESTRICTIVE schedule of the CSA.

This is YOUR taxes being wasted!

We could prevent a lot of the violence, disease and harm that's caused by alcohol by giving people the right to switch from the more harmful drug, alcohol, to the less harmful drug, marijuana.

Posted by: Jillian Galloway | Oct 19, 2012 12:00:11 PM

Jillian Galloway --

"We could prevent a lot of the violence, disease and harm that's caused by alcohol by giving people the right to switch from the more harmful drug, alcohol, to the less harmful drug, marijuana."

The problem is that they aren't going to "switch." They're going to ADD pot to booze, not SUBSTITUTE pot for booze, meaning that the public health consequences will be worse than what we're dealing with now.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 19, 2012 2:12:26 PM

Free Weedman.

Imprison Bill Otis.

Posted by: No Drug War | Oct 19, 2012 8:58:48 PM

Re: No Drug War

At least one pro-druggie comes clean about his respect for the right to disagree with The Required Doper Mantra. I'm tempted to say, "This is your brain on pot," but that would be unfair to pot, slightly.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 19, 2012 9:28:58 PM

Fenton Teenager Arrested on Marijuana Charge After Car Crash - Topix
www.topix.com/forum/city/fenton-mi/TNRPFO4M01TKA93KB - Tuesday Oct 16, 2012
6 days ago ...

Driver Had Marijuana In System In Crash That Killed ...
chicago.cbslocal.com/Aug 25, 2012 ...

Marijuana users twice as likely to cause accident – USATODAY.com
usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/...02.../Marijuana...car-crash/.../Feb 9, 2012 ... People who use marijuana before driving are nearly twice as likely to cause a car crash

Posted by: Adamakis | Oct 23, 2012 10:31:51 AM

Bill Otis: "The problem is that they aren't going to "switch." They're going to ADD pot to booze, not SUBSTITUTE pot for booze, meaning that the public health consequences will be worse than what we're dealing with now."

Nescience. You are making assumptions, Bill Otis. I could use the same argument with alcohol and prescription drugs. People drink while on prescription medications all the time.

Adamakis: "Fenton Teenager Arrested on Marijuana Charge After Car Crash," "Driver Had Marijuana In System In Crash That Killed," "Marijuana users twice as likely to cause accident."

The Fenton teen was arrested for possession of marijuana. The Chicago driver had tested positive for marijuana, but there is no evidence that it caused the crash... he had been going 20 mph over the speed limit. The article in the USA Today about the Dalhousie University study does not indicate that marijuana was the cause. It only said that marijuana "was confirmed by blood tests or self-reporting" in 49,000 people, not that there was clear proof that using marijuana caused the accidents.

Posted by: Huh? | Oct 24, 2012 11:41:17 PM

"Experts at Dalhousie University in Canada reviewed nine studies of more than 49,000 people..."
"The study was published Friday in the journal, BMJ."

"Researchers found drivers who had used marijuana within three hours of beginning to drive
had nearly double the risk of causing a collision,
especially those that were fatal."

USATODAY.com
Feb 9, 2012

Posted by: Adamakis | Oct 25, 2012 9:09:21 AM

"Within 3 hours of beginning to drive."

That settles it for me. As someone who has smoked marijuana, I know for a fact that 3 hours later the effects of are gone.

Its junk science.

Posted by: Huh? | Oct 25, 2012 9:13:05 PM

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