Tag Archives: Ed Forchion

NJ Weedman not guilty on 1 witness tampering count, jury hung on 2nd

Screenshot-2017-11-10 NJ Weedman not guilty on 1 witness tampering count, jury hung on 2nd

By Olivia Rizzo

For NJ.com

TRENTON — A jury on Thursday found Ed “NJ Weedman” Forchion not guilty of the more serious witness tampering crime he was charged with, and was hung on a second count of the same charge.

The marijuana advocate was visibly excited with the outcome.

Once the jury had cleared the court, Forchion raised his hands in victory before making an oral motion to Mercer County Judge Anthony Massi to re-open his detention hearing.

(He remains jailed; Massi noted the oral request, but said it needed to be properly filed.)

As the jury was leaving the courtroom, Forchion leaned down into the microphone and thanked them.

Late Thursday, in a call from the Mercer County jail, Forchion said: “To all the jurors, thank you!”

“I have always believed in the jury system, and in this case it worked out. I’m happy as hell,” he said.

In court, clad in a red and black suit, Forchion had given supporters sitting behind him a quick thumbs up before the jury entered the courtroom. Moments later, they found him not guilty of a second-degree witness tampering charge, and was hung on a third-degree count of the same charge.

Neither Mercer County assistant prosecutors who tried the case, Stephanie Katz or John Boyle, commented on the outcome, saying the matter was still pending.

NJ Weedman on trial: Everything you need to know

NJ Weedman on trial: Everything you need to know

He’s been in jail since March, but Ed Forchion is still making news

Prosecutors allege the marijuana right advocate publicly outed the witness who he believes informed on him to authorities in the investigation that led to the 2016 drug raid of his Trenton restaurant.

The prosecutor’s office now has 120 days to re-try Forchion, or dismiss the charge. A status conference date will be set to discuss the future of the case, . 

In the Thursday night call, Forchion reiterated his stance that there will be no plea bargains, and if the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office wants to try him again, he’s ready for round two.

“I am going to trial,” he said.

After the verdicts, a group of his supporters were initially happy when the jury ruled that Forchion was not guilty on the one count, but became frustrated when they learned he would not be released from jail.

“That’s not what he’s guilty of,” Debi Madeo, Forchion’s fiance, said outside the courtroom, “he’s guilty of being an asshole.”

Madeo said she’s worried Forchion will remain in jail for several more months, until a new trial can begin. She then echoed statements Forchion has made in the past about not receiving a fair trial.

During the trial, prosecutors argued that Forchion badgered the witness online and sent mail to his neighbors.

Forchion testified that he was an “ass,” and he posted on social media a lot, but he did not believe what he was doing was illegal, and prosecutor’s were pursuing a “fake case.”

Daeja Forchion

6 hours ago

UPDATE: Not guilty on 2nd degree ❗️❗️❗️
hung jury on 3rd❗️
another 120 days in jail for another trial
#freenjweedman
#notguilty

Olivia Rizzo may be reached at orizzo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @LivRizz. Find NJ.com on Facebook

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FACEBOOK LINK

https://www.facebook.com/daeja.forchion/posts/10214652248329573

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"NJ Weedman" raided by SWAT team while streaming on Facebook Live

March 3, 2017, 4:49 PM

Image result for Ed Forchion

TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey marijuana advocate dubbed “NJ Weedman” has been arrested on witness tampering charges and was broadcasting on Facebook Live when SWAT team members burst through the door. 

Mercer County authorities say Ed “NJ Weedman” Forchion was arrested Friday afternoon; he was indicted Tuesday by grand jury. His broadcast captured the moment officers entered a room at his girlfriend’s house. 

“There’s probably officers in Trenton or somewhere looking at my Facebook Live right now,” Forchion said about seven minutes into the first broadcast. “I hear car doors opening but I’m not going to go near the door.”

A few minutes later, Forchion ended the first broadcast. He posted another video a short time later showing police officers opening the door and telling him to show his hands:

SEE VIDEO HERE

Forchion tells NJ.com he thinks the new charges stem from him revealing the name of a confidential informant. 

Forchion was arrested in April during a police raid of his eatery, called NJ Weedman’s Joint. He has spent time in and out of prison for marijuana possession. In 2012, federal agents in California raided his pot farm, confiscating 600 plants, according to CBS New York. He is charged with selling marijuana at his establishment. 

Prosecutors have said an informant bought marijuana from Forchion multiple times before the raid and provided essential information on the sales. 

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NJ Weedman on Facebook

THE NJ WEEDMAN HEADS TO COURT

THE WEEDMAN HEADS TO COURT ( 4/25/2012)

Ed Forchion, dreadlocks falling across his face, sat in a booth at the Dolphin Diner on Route 130 in Burlington Township, explaining how he plans victory “for potheads everywhere.”

“I win this case, I’m a hero, a legend. One juror — just one — that’s all I need,” he said. “I think I’ll be able to tell who, too. You know how some people have ‘gaydar’ — they can tell who’s gay? I have ‘weedar.’ I can tell who’s cool with weed.”

He’ll look for that person in a courtroom at the county courthouse in Mount Holly, where his trial for possession of a pound of pot is set to begin May 1.

Forchion, 47, is known as NJWeedman, a celebrity among dedicated marijuana smokers.

At the diner, people wave to him. A man several booths away mouths “good luck.” Weedman returns the warm regards.

“See? That guy knows who I am,” he said.

Of course, it’s hard to miss his calling card in the parking lot — a van artistically adorned from bumper to bumper with pro-weed slogans, marijuana leaves, and depictions of himself blowing pot smoke into Uncle Sam’s face. He calls it the Weedmobil. He traveled in it with a friend from his home in Los Angeles, where he is the proprietor of a medical marijuana shop.

Or was. Last year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency busted him. This compounded his bust in Mount Holly in 2010. Forchion had been visiting family when he was pulled over for a traffic violation, and the police found weed in his rental car.

Now, awaiting trial, he’s broke and using Facebook to solicit contributions to put gas in the Weedmobil.

In spite of this, he seems a cheerful soul. He is a charming dining companion, tells good stories, smiles easily, and is unfailingly polite. His cause is the legalization of marijuana, which, he said, he uses daily. (He produced a document from Dr. Edward A. Alexander of Los Angeles, who vouches for Forchion’s need for pot, not only for medical reasons but also for “spiritual” reasons. Forchion is a Rastafarian.)

“I’ve been called a fakin’ Jamaican, but this is who I am,” he said.

Forchion was born in New Jersey and grew up in Sicklerville, Camden County. Good parents. Happy childhood.

“The first time I smoked pot was right here in Willingboro,” he said. “I was 14 or 15. It was the summer of 1979. It was a peer-pressure thing. My cousin was there, and these kids were all passing around a joint, right there in Pennypacker Park.”

He inhaled, got the giggles, and thoroughly enjoyed the high.

“That day was when I realized that pot is not some boogeyman, like in ‘Reefer Madness.’ That was a good day, a defining moment in my life,” he said.

After high school, Forchion enlisted in the Marines. A health issue got him a medical discharge. He spent six years in the Army, where he was trained as a medical technician.

He married, divorced and has five children, ages 5 to 26. He worked as an independent coast-to-coast trucker. It was in Phoenix in the early 1990s where he realized the appealing economics of dealing weed.

“You could buy a pound for $300 in Phoenix and sell it in Jersey for $1,200,” he said. “So I got 10 pounds and sold it. Then I got 30 pounds.”

He was rolling in dough. He bought a house in Chesilhurst, Camden County, next to the police chief’s place. In the late 1990s, he was busted, served three months in prison, got out, and moved to the pot-friendly West Coast.

Forchion’s case in Burlington County is novel in two ways. Superior Court Judge Charles Delehey will permit him to represent himself. Also, Forchion will attempt to get the jury to acquit him through nullification. That is, although jurors may believe a defendant is guilty, they acquit him anyway due to other circumstances.

He said his courtroom pitch will appeal to “common sense.”

“The law they’re prosecuting me under is unconstitutional,” he said. “The (federal law) classifies pot as a Schedule I drug, which means it has no ‘accepted’ medical value. On the other hand, the state of New Jersey has approved the use of medical marijuana. So, which is it?”

Hmm.

“Like I said,” said the Weedman, “all I need is one juror to agree with me. Just one.”