Activist Appeals Pot Busts

Activist Appeals Pot Busts
Posted by FoM on August 24, 2000 at 07:55:40 PT
By Tom Fernandez, Staff Writer 
Source: The Trentonian
The New Jersey Weedman has struck again. Political pot activist, and congressional candidate, Edward Forchion, a.k.a NJWEEDMAN, filed an appeal Wednesday on marijuana possession convictions stemming from two instances in 1998 during which he smoked a joint in the Camden office of Congressman Rob Andrews. 
Forchion, a practicing Rastafarian who shocked onlookers in March when he lit another doobie in the chambers of the New Jersey Assembly, argued in his brief that the convictions violate his religious rights and also deny him a critical treatment for a variety of medical afflictions. "The marijuana laws of New Jersey are based on lies," declared Forchion, who is running on the Legalize Marijuana Party ticket for New Jersey’s First Congressional District seat, during a visit to The Trentonian. "Everyone in prison for marijuana use is there because of lies. They are political prisoners," he added. The pot-smoking incidents related to his current convictions took place on April 27 and 28, 1998, according to Forchion’s appeal document. The document states that "on or about April 2, 1998" Defendant Edward Robert Forchion wrote a letter to Congressman Rob Andrews asking him to support the passage of legislation pending before Congress that would have legalized marijuana use for medical purposes. Reportedly angered by Andrews’ response in another letter, the document states, Forchion visited the congressman’s office on April 27, 1998, smoked a joint to demonstrate its medicinal benefits and then left the office. An hour later he returned to Andrews’ office and smoked another joint. He was subsequently arrested. The next day, the document states, Forchion went to The Democratic Party headquarters in Cherry Hill, where he smoked another joint to demonstrate the plant’s power. He was also promptly arrested after this incident. On February 23 and 29, 2000, Forchion was convicted for marijuana possession for these arrests. Carrying a massive file of medical reports, Forchion argued Wednesday that marijuana smoke was crucial for treating his afflictions of asthma, depression, chronic pain and trauma-induced epilepsy. In his appeal brief, Forchion writes "It is NJWEEDMAN’s contention that he has a fundamental right under the United States Constitution, and the New Jersey Constitution to make rational choices regarding his medical care, and that the state may not limit his choices for effective medical treatment without demonstrating a compelling need and employing a means that it narrowly tailored to accomplish its objective." "I could have kept my marijuana smoking private, like most people do. But because I’m honest and forthright about what I do, I’m now in legal trouble," Forchion declared. A hearing on the issue has been scheduled for August 28. Edward Forchion is running on the Legalize Marijuana Party’s ticket for New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District’s seat. NewsHawk: Ed ForchionPublished: August 24, 2000 ©The Trentonian 2000 Related Articles & Web Site:Legalize Marijuana Party Articles - Edward "NJWeedman" Forchion:
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on August 24, 2000 at 16:33:17 PT
Thanks DankHank!
Thanks DankHank! I have never met Ed but he sure has a lot of nerve. I am a wimp. I go hide when things get scary but I bet Ed just jumps on in! We do need more like him.Peace, FoM!PS: I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to you in email. I open my email and it is overwhelming with news items and I am having a terrible time catching up. I hope you understand if I don't get back to you that I always read the emails and appreciate them. I wish there were two of me to answer the mail but there isn't.
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Comment #1 posted by dankhank on August 24, 2000 at 14:49:40 PT:
Cool Dude ...
This is one cool dude ...I met him at the Liberty Bell at 4:20 the Thursday of the Republican/Shadow Conventions week.He made a very eloquent speech in defense of marijuana and proceeded to light up a joint in view of 30 or 40 city or park police, all within 30 to 75 feet of him.I sidled up to him, and took the doob from him and was the second person to toke in view of an army of police. With no evident police activity threatened, the Hemp Smokeout quickly picked up steam. Heady stuff, with the Liberty Bell so close ...Anyhow ... enough about me ...Support this man ...He seems to be the genuine article, a passionate pot activist.
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