Marijuana Grower With MS Guilty, Faces 5-10 Years

A New Jersey man on trial for growing 17 marijuana plants on his property was found not guilty yesterday of the most serious charge against him, that of operating a drug production facility, which carries a potential 20-year sentence.

But multiple sclerosis-sufferer John Wilson, 37, still faces the possibility of five to 10 years in prison, because the jury found him guilty of second-degree manufacturing and third-degree drug possession. It’s possible that Wilson avoided conviction on the most serious charge because he cast doubt on the credibility of state troopers who arrested him in August 2008—with a little help from the National Guard.

Wilson maintains that he was growing the marijuana because it helps alleviate his MS symptoms, but Superior Court Judge Robert Reed had ruled that the validity of medical marijuana was a matter for the Legislature and inadmissible in court. Nevertheless, Wilson was able to make one mention of his condition during his testimony on Wednesday, when he contradicted the state troopers who swore they did not discuss why he was growing the drug. “I told them I was not a drug dealer and I was using the marijuana to treat my M.S.,” Wilson said.

Juror Mark Imbriani, who is actually a criminal defense lawyer in Somerville and a former assistant prosecutor in Union County, tells the Star-Ledger that some jurors “didn’t feel as though (the detectives) were being candid when they responded to those questions.” The trial prompted sick marijuana users to protest outside the courthouse, and two state senators who sponsored a medical marijuana bill have been seeking a pardon for Wilson. “This case has been a horrible waste of taxpayers’ dollars and just a cruel and inhumane use of prosecutorial powers, which is one of the things pardons are designed to overcome,” New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak said.

Speaking of wasting taxpayer dollars, it also emerged during the trial that the military helped bust the sickly pot grower. Deputy Attorney General Russell Curley told the jury during closing arguments that the plants were spotted by a National Guard helicopter because they were 6 feet tall: “These weren’t plants. These were trees.” And before his arrest, Wilson was surprised to see a helicopter hovering over his two-bedroom farm house, testifying that “it looked like some sort of Army, or I guess National Guard helicopter.”

– Article from Gothamist.

Comments

9 Comments

  1. MEG on

    I AGREE WHOLE HEARTEDLY WITH YOU DIRTY HARRY, THE JURORS NEED TO KNOW FULL REASONS WHY, NOT HALF OF A STORY.
    I HAVE MS,AM AUSTRALIAN, AUSTRALIAN MEDICO’S IN VICTORIA ARE TRYING TO GET GOV PERMISSION TO GET MARIHUANA AS AN ORAL SPAY TO BE LEGALISED HERE FOR MS SUFFERERS. I AWAIT IN ANTISIPATION. I AM IN PAIN 24/7.
    I UNDERSTAND A FAIR BIT ON USA LEGAL SYSTEM SO I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU SAID, & AS I SAID I AGREE WITH YOU 110%.

  2. wiscoskunk on

    can any one say cannabis Genocide. Why dont they put us in concentration work camps, o yea the do there called prisons basicly. Post a comment on this blog if any eles agrees.

  3. plink on

    He could have been growing 1700 6 foot plants and you still couldn’t charge him for selling it. People get punished for possible futures, not reality. What happened to good old fashioned police work? Today it’s all reverse stings (setups) and busting people for what they -could- do.

    That’s the level of harrasment suffered by potheads, where, whether the intention is to sell it or not, cunts can come into your property and charge you for it, potentially resulting in you locked up.

    “No I really don’t believe that is good for you, so I’m taking it off your land and here, here’s 5 years for disagreeing with me.”

  4. Jay Dell on

    The illegitamite behaviour of a crown ,to persue a ill man for a treatment inwhich the medical society has deemed as safe and effective.Is a carnal attack of the worst kind,ill and needy for love and help is the man trapped by a sickness .It is a complete sin to place judgement upon the head of this man .The crown by aswell be worn by a long snouted swine.
    My Lord will cast the demons into a herd headed for a pitfall.

    Crazy Bird Productions
    Glory and Truth
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    Soaring in Liberty

  5. Dave on

    Yes, we have to find ways of informing Juries about their duty to, case-by-case, nullify bad laws. So far the best way I’ve heard of is handing out leaflets to potential Jurors?

    I’ve tried checking out various Canadian and American government sites to find the proper procedure, but not a word from the officials? How the hell can a person perform their duties if they are not aware of them?

    We need to be more proactive; any suggestions?

  6. Dirty Harry on

    How the hell can someone have their day in court if they are not allowed to say their story? Isn’t it up to the jury to hear ones defense, hear the prosecutors arguments, follow judges instructions, and then decide if a crime was committed? How can one have a fair trial if you can’t try and explain not only what one did, but why? Why even allow a defendant to even speak in court if one is not allowed to explain everything in every detail? After all, it is the jury to decide if the defendant is blowing smoke up their ass or not. That is what a jury is for.
    I know why. Here in the US its called jury nullification. If a jury hears all the information, they can decide a verdict of not guilty, even if evidence says the person is.
    Judges HATE that as “NORMALLY” a judge can’t over rule a juries decision. Keeping a jury in the dark on facts that could favor the defendant prevents them from leaning toward the defendant when the facts they have in front of them are deliberated.
    That is like someone who shot someone in self defense not being able to state that in court. Lacking that information, all the jury sees is someone who shot someone else for no reason. Not a good position to be in, and it sure as hell is not a fair trial.

  7. Dan-o on

    Another “victory” in the drug war huh? A sick non-violent man possibly(probably) going to jail. Thank God there are no violent crimes to concentrate on in New Jersey!

  8. Anonymous on

    Would you agree that now John Wilson will be sentenced to a penalty as severe as somebody who commits manslaughter?
    For growing 17 plants?
    that is crazy the most he should get is a ticket probably three hundred dollars and no more, the penalty should not be so damn severe, he’s not a dealer, let Mark Emery go.