Marijuana Protester Smokes on Assembly Floor 

Marijuana Protester Smokes on Assembly Floor 
Posted by FoM on March 17, 2000 at 19:49:51 PT
By Associated Press
A one-time congressional candidate who ran on the ''Legalize Marijuana'' ticket now faces criminal charges for smoking the illegal substance on the floor of the state Assembly, according to published reports. State police officers apprehended Edward Forchion, of Pemberton Township, on Thursday, minutes after he lit up the illegal cigarette during an Assembly session. 
Forchion, who goes by the nickname ''NJ Weedman'', told newspapers he uses marijuana as part of his religious observances. Thursday's smoke session was an act of civil disobedience to highlight what he said is the state's discrimination of marijuana users, Forchion said. After his arrest by state troopers, Forchion was charged with being under the influence of marijuana, hindering apprehension and improper behavior, all misdemeanor complaints. Forchion must answer the charges in Trenton Municipal Court. Trenton, N.J. (AP)By Associated Press, 3/17/2000  Copyright 2000 Boston Globe Electronic Publishing, Inc. Related Articles & Web Site On Ed Forchion:Jury Nullificationhttp://www.fija.orgEd Forchion's Legalize Marijuana Party on Drugs Is an Affront To U.S. Constitution Suffers Court Setback, Plans Appeal
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on March 20, 2000 at 12:55:54 PT
Weedman Nabed at Statehouse Puffing on Joint
Weedman Nabed at Statehouse Puffing on Suspected Joint By John Reitmeyer BCT Staff Writer Burlington County Times Forchion, the self-titled N.J. Weedman, has struck again.The Browns Mills resident and unsuccessful 8th-district state Assembly candidate was ar-rested Thursday afternoon in the Statehouse in Trenton and charged with lighting up what authorities believe was a marijuana cigarette.The incident occurred at 2:05 p.m. in the spectators' area of the Assembly chambers, said state police spokeswoman Wen-dy Galloway."He arose from his seat and lit what was possibly a marijuana cigarette,'' Galloway said.Immediately after lighting the cigarette, which drew the attention of state police as-signed to the Statehouse, Forchion ingested it, said Gall-oway.He's been charged with being under the influence, hindering apprehension and im-proper behavior, according to Galloway. Following his arrest, Forchion was released pending an appearance in Trenton Mu-nicipal Court.Forchion said his actions were done in an effort to raise more attention to what he considers to be religious persecution in New Jersey.Forchion said marijuana has deep meaning to his Rastafarian religion, made famous by Jam-aican reggae singer Bob Mar-ley, and its nature-based rituals. He contends Rastafarians should be allowed to use the illegal drug for the same reasons Catholics were permitted to consume wine for the communion ritual during Prohibition."People like me should have exemptions too,'' said Forchion, who performed similar protests in Camden County in 1998."I have an illegal religion,'' he said.During his run for the state Assembly last year, Forchion campaigned on a platform fo-cused primarily on his efforts to legalize marijuana. Forchion lost that race to Republican in-cumbents Larry Chatzidakis and Francis Bodine.Forchion said he now plans to run for Burlington County freeholder, and will submit a petition shortly to get on this year's ballot under a "Fathers' Rights'' platform. That stance comes out of Forchion's claims that his religious practices have caused the state's family court to strip him of his right to visit a 4-year-old daughter.Forchion said he will also run for U.S. Congress this year against Rob Andrews in the 1st district.Sunday, March 19, 2000Copyright: Calkins Newspapers Inc.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on March 19, 2000 at 11:39:37 PT
Arrest in One-Man Pot Protest
Arrest in One-Man Pot Protest03/17/00 By Kevin SheaStaff WriterNew Jersey Online -- A Browns Mills man who advocates the legalization of marijuana lighted a marijuana cigarette in the State House yesterday to protest his personal situation, and what he calls a "hypocritical" Legislature.Edward "NJ Weedman" Forchion was promptly approached by state police officers after lighting up at 1:30 p.m., but says he swallowed the "joint" before police could complete the arrest. Because there is no physical evidence, Forchion believes he can beat the charges.Forchion was charged by state police with being under the influence of marijuana, hindering apprehension, and improper behavior, according to an arrest docket. The misdemeanor charges will be heard in Trenton Municipal Court."I just wanted to point out the hypocrisy, the hypocrisy of the Legislature," said Forchion.Forchion is a member of the Rastafari religion and says its members use marijuana, or "ganja," to heal the body and cleanse the mind.The ganja herb is a religious sacrament to Rastafari, much as peyote is to Native Americans, and wine is for Christians and Catholics, said Forchion. It is thus illegal to practice his religion in New Jersey, he said.The Legislature frequently passes laws that promote other religions or beliefs, Forchion claims. Forchion also was protesting several law enforcement agencies in the South Jersey area and the state police that have arrested him, and the Burlington County court judges who, he says, have trampled his rights. The judges have taken away his 5-year-old daughter because of his attitude toward marijuana, Forchion said."If I had chosen Hinduism, or to be a Muslim, they wouldn't be taking my kid," said Forchion. His daughter lives with her mother, Forchion's former wife, in Lumberton.Forchion has been a congressional candidate in the 1st Congressional District. 2000 The Times. 
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Comment #3 posted by dddd on March 18, 2000 at 07:08:45 PT
 I'm not sure what the exact,correct definition of a "hippy",would be. I agree with rainbow.It would be a worthwhile event to have a smoke-in,(or out),with thousands of participants.The main problem,is that most people hate the idea of having their lives destroyed by the gestapo-esque police state,manditory,zero tolerance,well funded,anti-drug cartel. Rainbow and myself might be the only ones who showed up for the 'smoke-in',and we would be unceremoniously taken into custody,and not seen again for years.No news coverage,,,trial by jury denied,because of some new twisted law,found on page 1326 of the drug free century act bill. It's getting to the point,where one feels nervous even posting messages on sites such as this. I'll betchya they are monitoring all such sites......scary.....dddd
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Comment #2 posted by rainbow on March 18, 2000 at 06:19:43 PT
Civil Disobediance is the thing that gets press and media attention. I suggested this type of thing to the Lindesmith center a couple years ago.The problem is if we do it one a oncy twocy basis we get thrown in jail. But as dddd points out I would like to see them jail hundreds if not thousands. This is much like the protests for Diallo in NYC. Many were arrested but the courts can not handle it.It would actually be fun to get a lot of people committed that one by one lit up in the nations capital. They would have to rent the stadium to handle the influx of "prisoners". We could all demand a trial by jury and basically demonstrate the absurdity.The pols would be really angry.I would like to say I am an ex-hippie, but I did not behave properly during that time to be considered in the same class. I am trying now though :-)CheersRainbowand as they say Power to the People. 
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Comment #1 posted by dddd on March 18, 2000 at 02:10:10 PT
Hats off
Perhaps this nutty guy has something we should consider.I'm sure it's been thought of,or done before,,and it might not be easy to organize,,but wouldnt it be good to have a "smoke-in" event,,or the "Million man Smoke-in",like the million man march on the capitol....(I guess you can tell I'm a retired Hippie) Perhaps this is a lame idea,but you gotta give this guy credit for speaking out for what he believes............dddd
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