Marijuana Mercy: Pardon John Ray Wilson

The state Attorney General’s Office believes we have to get John Ray Wilson off the streets. He was caught growing marijuana behind his Franklin Township home — enough to make him, in the eyes of the law, a pot producer, a drug distributor. Heck, some of the plants were taller than an NBA point guard, cops say.

After a helicopter spotted the weed, police swarmed Wilson’s neighborhood and arrested him. He was charged with maintaining or operating a drug-production facility, a first-degree crime, along with other offenses, and could face up to 20 years in prison.

Whew! Another hard-core drug offender swept from New Jersey’s streets with help from the National Guard. We can all sleep soundly tonight.

Except that Wilson has multiple sclerosis and was growing the marijuana, he says, to treat his condition. He’s hardly the Gotti of Ganja, the Dillinger of Dope, the Cannabis Kid.

Wilson was caught growing 17 plants. That makes him subject to prosecution as if he were dealing, but attorney James Wronko insists “there’s no evidence of that whatsoever.” Wilson, he says, is a novice and “had no idea” how many plants he needed to make enough pot for personal use.

Sens. Nicholas Scutari and Raymond Lesniak (both D-Union) have asked Gov. Jon Corzine to pardon Wilson, who declined an offer to plead guilty in return for a three- to nine-year sentence and is scheduled to go on trial Dec. 14. The senators want Corzine to throw out the first-degree charge, so Wilson can enter pretrial intervention on the lesser offenses. They have called the charges “inappropriate” and an “inhumane application” of the law.

Dude, they’re right, this is totally bogus.

With the Legislature probably close to passing a bill that permits medical marijuana use, pardoning Wilson from the serious charge makes sense. Otherwise, the state could spend tens of thousands of dollars to try this case and possibly throw this guy in prison, where it will cost us even more money.

What are we, high?

– Article from the Star-Ledger (NJ.com).

Comments

5 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    Thank God that there were no dangerous criminals out there needing stopped so they could concentrate resources on a sick pothead… I seriously think our police, DA’s and tax money could be better used elsewhere.

  2. Anonymous on

    dude i don’t know what your talking about but with 17 plants like that he sounds like he’s gonna be the next Tony Montana!!!!!! i can’t believe they are gonna go easy on by giving him only 20 years jail…. that’s only like 1.5 years per plant…. think of all the victims!!!!! think of the destruction!!!!!!

  3. fatigues on

    I believe the State Attorney General’s Office is using this man’s plight and the patent injustice of his plight under the current law as a weapon to increase media awareness, public sympathy and intimidate state legislators into passing the 119/A804, The Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. in New Jersey.

    Article is here: http://open.salon.com/blog/freedomisgreen/2009/08/06/a_civil_right_to_marijuana_the_john_ray_wilson_case

    Details are extracted here:

    Because it was the State Police Marijuana Eradication Unit who processed the plants it is not the local county District Attorney who is arguing the case, but the more powerful State Attorney General’s Office. The prosecution is being led by Deputy Attorney General Russell Curley, who has successfully attempted to circumvent any argument that the plants were grown for John’ personal, medical use. Ironically, Curley’s own office issued recommendations to enact the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act just weeks after Curley filed his initial briefs trying to keep John’s MS from the jury. It may be the deep understanding of the proposed law on the part of the Attorney General’s Office that has allowed them to mount such an aggressive prosecution of John Wilson.

    It was the decision made by the Superior Court Judge Robert Reed at a pre-trial hearing last week that made national news. Again, Wilson’s defense attorney James Wronko: “The Trial Court has ruled that Mr. Wilson cannot argue that he grew the marijuana of medical purposes. Moreover, he cannot even mention to the jury that he suffers from multiple sclerosis at all.”

    Such a ruling made national news and for good reason.

    In California and other states where MS patients already enjoy legal access to cannabis there was outrage. Here in New Jersey, it was a wake up call among the reform community and to the general public. Many here were already aware that it was the brave fight of a dying MS patient Cheryl Miller that served as the catalyst for the local effort. News surrounding the NJ medical marijuana bill’s progress has highlighted sick and dying residents who plead for safe access yet DAG Curley argued in court that if the jury knew about John’s MS then it would garner him undue sympathy.

    Aware of the legislation, Judge Reed wrote in last week’s ruling “If medical marijuana use is to be recognized as an exemption to our criminal law, the legislative process must produce that result. This court will not do so.”

    The Attorney General’s Office has played expertly to that end. On one hand issuing recommendations to refine the medical marijuana bill and on the other hand using the active legislation against John’s defense.

  4. Mr Skunk on

    enough is enough. what the hell is wrong with the Government? Iam sick and tired of this shit. where do these Evil Son of a Bitches come from?

  5. fatigues on

    I have great difficulty absorbing the facts of this case as described and reconciling those facts with the D.A.’s exercise of prosecutorial discretion in deciding to proceed with these charges.

    I presume that a District Attorney is an elected official in the state of New Jersey. While there is a great deal of controversy over the lagality of recreational cannabis in many of the States, there is FAR less controvery concerning its medical use. This is especially so when it comes to patients growing their own MMJ for use in treating Multiple Sclerosis.

    The point I am getting at is this: if the D.A, proceeds with this case, his chances of getting re-elected are going to be reduced. This is delivering a political weapon into the hands of one’s opponents, wrapped with a pink ribbon. I imagine that the D.A. knows this.

    I understand why cops will often do what they do – but it is an exceptionally rare D.A. who proceeds with a prosecution seeking a sentence like this when the facts as they are depicted in this article are present.

    Which means we either have an exceptionally stupid D.A. (not a profession known for stupidity, let alone a reckless disregard for one’s own political career) OR…

    We aren’t getting *all* of the facts here.

    This one does not smell right. It seems likely that there’s something else going on here that we don’t know about.