Tag Archives: NJ

Senator Cory Booker still wants to legalize marijuana nationally by punishing prohibition states

Erik McLaren     17 November, 2017

Senator Cory Booker to Legalize Marijuana Nationally By Punishing Prohibition States 1 of 2 800x400 Senator Cory Booker still wants to legalize marijuana nationally by punishing prohibition states

Above:  WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 10: U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) (3rd L) speaks during a news conference on medical marijuana as U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) (2nd L), U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (3rd R), Kate Hintz (2nd R) and Morgan Hintz (R), who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy, look on Capitol Hill, on Capitol Hill, March 10, 2015 in Washington, DC. The news conference was held to announce a new medical marijuana bill before the U.S. Senate. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker put forward a bill that would legalize weed in the United States earlier this year and has been promoting it ever since. The legislation goes further than simple legalization by punishing states with racist policing practices. With the Republican-controlled Congress, this bill is a long shot with golden intentions.

The bill would totally remove weed for the controlled substances act, making it legal on a federal level. This has been the main goal for activists since marijuana prohibition first started. “This is an important step,” Booker said in a Facebook Live post, “But it is only a beginning.”

Other issues around legalization center around what to do with people who currently have weed related criminal records. Booker’s bill would expunge criminal records for people convicted of using or possessing marijuana, even if those charges stretch back decades.

“We need to remember that these are charges that follow people for their entire lives, and make it difficult for them to do things we take for granted,” Booker said.

Even if weed was legal federally, individual states could still elect to keep cannabis prohibited. A goal of the bill is address discrimination in drug enforcement.

In order to encourage hold-out states to legalize, Booker’s bill would withhold federal funding from states that arrest black people for weed crimes at higher rates than whites.

According to the ACLU, that includes every state in which weed is illegal.

The bill would also clear people who’ve served time for use and possession. “For people in prison right now on marijuana charges, it gives them an avenue to have their sentences reduced or eliminated,” Booker said.

Booker has political aspirations greater than the Senate. There’s a lot of buzz around Booker and a 2020 presidential campaign. So, this bill could be a way to build a base for a presidential run. While Booker’s plan may seem ambitious, the bill’s message aligns with the popular and political opinion. According to a 2017 Gallup poll, 64% of Americans think cannabis should be legal. For the first time in history, the majority (51%) of Republicans support legalization. Booker will likely receive major support from his own party with 72% of Democrats on board for legal weed.

Screen Shot 2017 10 25 at 7.45.55 AM 1 Senator Cory Booker still wants to legalize marijuana nationally by punishing prohibition statesCourtesy of Gallup

This move also distances Booker from Governor Chris Christie, the wildly unpopular wildebeest that currently represents New Jersey. Christie has promised to strike down legalization. Whatever office Booker is after, his bill certainly pushes him in the right direction.

Erik McLaren

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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

Man hid marijuana in ‘Mary Jane’ candy wrappers at airport: cops

By Philip Messing and Chris Perez

June 22, 2015 | 2:36pm

 

Embedded image permalink

 

This dope must of been high on his own supply.

A passenger at Newark Airport tried to sneak a stash of marijuana past the TSA — disguising it in Mary Jane candy wrappers, authorities said.

Gregory Murphy’s “bad trip” started Friday at around 5pm when he heard his name being paged over the loudspeakers as he prepared to board a plane at Gate 85, according to Port Authority police.

The 49-year-old Toms River, N.J. resident was confronted by TSA officers after they discovered Zig-Zag rolling papers and “a green leafy vegetation” inside of his checked luggage.

Murphy later admitted to Port Authority police that the greens — which was wrapped in seven Mary Jane candy wrappers and concealed in a plastic zip-lock baggie — was in fact marijuana and that it and the rolling papers belonged to him, authorities said.

Murphy was arrested and issued summonses for possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia. He has been released and is due in court on July 7th.

 

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JEFF EDELSTEIN: Marijuana defense of the NJWeedman is working

 

Bobby T. is a 27-year-old Philadelphia resident. He’s got a good job, a regular guy, goes about his business. Not looking for any trouble. But — cue the music — trouble found him.

He was driving back to his home from upstate New York after a weekend with some friends. Upon entering New Jersey — Mahwah, to be exact — he got pulled over. The officer said he was doing 76 in a 55. Lousy enough luck there. And the luck got worse once the officer got a whiff of the car.

Pot.
“He smelled the weed,” Bobby T. said. “He told me to get out of the car, asked me where it was, and I told him. He found my bowl and about 2.5 grams of pot.”

Bobby T. was handcuffed and arrested.

It was going to be a slam dunk case for the township of Mahwah. Bobby T. was dead to rights. And then … well, long story short: Bobby T. walked. Didn’t have to pay a dime. Case dismissed.

How did he pull this off? Simple enough: Through the dare-I-say brilliance of Ed Forchion, known far and wide as the NJWeedman.

I wrote about this   earlier in the year. Forchion has created   a printable, fill-in-the-blanks legal brief for anyone in New Jersey who gets caught with marijuana. His argument is as elegant as it is airtight.

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NJWeedman found not guilty in pot distribution case

 

MOUNT HOLLY — A jury found Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion not guilty Thursday in the Rastafarian activist’s marijuana distribution case.

The decision came after Forchion was nearly held in contempt of court in the morning as he delivered his closing argument.

 

Stay tuned for details of Thursday afternoon’s verdict.

Forchion, formerly of Pemberton Township, tried to introduce his jury nullification argument into the closing, but was quickly stopped by Superior Court Judge Charles Delehey, who had barred any discussion of it.

Forchion began verbally sparring with Delehey, who then ordered the jury out of the room and told the defendant he would be held in contempt if he continued to ignore the court’s orders.

“If you want to make a martyr of yourself, the court will deal with you,” the judge said. “You’ve done everything you can to disrupt this trial.”

Jury nullification would allow the jurors to disregard the law they were ordered to follow in considering the case and acquit a defendant, no matter what the evidence, in effect nullifying or invalidating the law.

Forchion, wearing a “Marijuana … It’s OK. It’s Just Illegal” T-shirt, refused to talk to his court-appointed attorney during the brief recess, but when Delehey and the jury returned, he toed the line and abandoned his blatant jury nullification pitch.

Instead, the legalization activist focused the jury on his plight as a licensed medical marijuana patient in California who brought a pound of pot to New Jersey in April 2010 for his own use.

“I don’t use it the way the state says. To me, it’s medicine, it’s food,” Forchion said, noting for the jury that he had been eating pot-laced cookies throughout the trial. “I feel I’m the victim of a flawed law.”

The state alleged that because of the sheer volume of the marijuana, his intent was to distribute it. Burlington County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Luciano told the jury that the case was not “a political referendum” on medical marijuana or legalization.

“It is not a litmus test on the war on drugs,” he said.

Luciano also said the numbers and common sense should lead to a guilty verdict, noting that Forchion had enough pot on him when he was stopped by police in Mount Holly on April 1, 2010, to smoke for months.

By Luciano’s calculations, Forchion would have to smoke two to three joints an hour nonstop for 24 hours to get through the pound of marijuana in about six months. NJWeedman disputed the prosecutor’s math and said it doesn’t fairly portray how he uses the drug.

“He had more than any person could smoke on their own,” Luciano said, reminding the jurors that they didn’t have to find he was selling it to convict him and that sharing also constitutes distribution. “He was going to distribute this for profit. He was going to distribute it because that’s what he believes, that’s his drug, that’s his food and that’s his plant.”

At a trial earlier this year, Forchion was convicted of possession, but the jury deadlocked on the more serious distribution charge, leading to this week’s retrial.

 

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NJ Weedman – Ed Forchion Burlington County Trial

Ed

Ed "NJWeedman" Forchion court verdict: Ed "NJWeedman" Forchion talks before and after the verdict is read in his Burlington County jury trial on charges of marijuana possession and possession with intent to distribute.

 

MOUNT HOLLY — A jury convicted medical marijuana activist Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion of possession Wednesday, but could not reach a verdict on the more weighty charge of distribution.

Following the verdict announcement in Superior Court in Mount Holly, an uncharacteristically agitated Forchion, dressed in a white T-shirt with a green cannabis leaf pictured inside the O of the letters LOVE, challenged an assistant Burlington County prosecutor that he would be ready for a retrial on the distribution charge.

“If he thinks he can get me again, let’s go,” Forchion told Judge Charles Delehey in regards to Assistant Prosecutor Michael Luciano. “I would go tomorrow.”

Forchion, who is representing himself, shot down his court-appointed lawyer’s plan to file a motion to have the court dismiss the possession with intent to distribute charge, saying angrily that the process would only delay the resolution of his case. The motion would have had to have been heard before a new trial could begin on the outstanding charge.

“I’m stuck here broke,” Forchion said. “I want to get this over with.”

Forchion, 47, grew up in the Browns Mills section of Pemberton Township 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.

“This is bigger than me,” Forchion said while waiting for the jury’s verdict Wednesday. “I’m not in here just fighting for me.

“It’s the cause. I’m on the side of righteousness here.”

In his opening arguments last week, Forchion boldly proclaimed to the jury that the stash of pot was his but he maintained that he never had any intent to peddle his “medicine” to others.

During the trial, experts from both sides presented their opinions as to whether there was evidence that Forchion was intending to distribute the pot.

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Reach George Mast at (856) 486-2465 or gmast@gannett.com

NJ Weedman – Ed Forchion Burlington County Trial

Ed

Ed "NJWeedman" Forchion court verdict: Ed "NJWeedman" Forchion talks before and after the verdict is read in his Burlington County jury trial on charges of marijuana possession and possession with intent to distribute.

 

MOUNT HOLLY — A jury convicted medical marijuana activist Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion of possession Wednesday, but could not reach a verdict on the more weighty charge of distribution.

Following the verdict announcement in Superior Court in Mount Holly, an uncharacteristically agitated Forchion, dressed in a white T-shirt with a green cannabis leaf pictured inside the O of the letters LOVE, challenged an assistant Burlington County prosecutor that he would be ready for a retrial on the distribution charge.

“If he thinks he can get me again, let’s go,” Forchion told Judge Charles Delehey in regards to Assistant Prosecutor Michael Luciano. “I would go tomorrow.”

Forchion, who is representing himself, shot down his court-appointed lawyer’s plan to file a motion to have the court dismiss the possession with intent to distribute charge, saying angrily that the process would only delay the resolution of his case. The motion would have had to have been heard before a new trial could begin on the outstanding charge.

“I’m stuck here broke,” Forchion said. “I want to get this over with.”

Forchion, 47, grew up in the Browns Mills section of Pemberton Township 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.

“This is bigger than me,” Forchion said while waiting for the jury’s verdict Wednesday. “I’m not in here just fighting for me.

“It’s the cause. I’m on the side of righteousness here.”

In his opening arguments last week, Forchion boldly proclaimed to the jury that the stash of pot was his but he maintained that he never had any intent to peddle his “medicine” to others.

During the trial, experts from both sides presented their opinions as to whether there was evidence that Forchion was intending to distribute the pot.

CONTINUE READING STORY…

Reach George Mast at (856) 486-2465 or gmast@gannett.com

Marijuana activist ‘NJWeedman’ convicted of pot possession, jury hung on distribution charge

By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, May 10, 6:37 AM

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. — Jurors in New Jersey have delivered a mixed verdict at the trial of a marijuana activist who lives in California and goes by the name “NJWeedman.”

The panel in Mount Holly on Wednesday convicted Ed Forchion of possession of one pound of pot in the trunk of his car. However, they could not reach a verdict on whether he intended to distribute it.

The 47-year-old moved to Los Angeles several years ago to run a medical marijuana dispensary. He was arrested during a traffic stop in April 2010.

He could not use New Jersey’s medical marijuana law as a defense.

Forchion told The Courier-Post of Cherry Hill (http://on.cpsj.com/JhKWmV ) he was happy he didn’t get thrown in jail while he awaits a retrial for the distribution charge.

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Information from: Courier-Post, http://www.courierpostonline.com/