Toting giant signs, more than a dozen advocates of medical marijuana today gathered outside the Somerset County Courthouse to rally behind a multiple sclerosis patient who is facing trial for growing 17 plants.
The state chapter of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana drew supporters from around the New Jersey, concerned about the pending case of John Ray Wilson, who is charged with first-degree maintaining or operating a drug-production facility, second-degree manufacturing and third-degree drug possession.
Wilson, 36, of Franklin, faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Last August a helicopter pilot spotted marijuana growing behind the house he rented on Skillmans Lane and alerted State Police. Detectives found well-worn trails leading to the plants.
Wilson will not be able to mention his medical condition at trial and cannot assert a personal use defense. The court ruling drew proponents to Somerville, with signs like, “Medical marijuana is a patient’s right” and “John Wilson is a medical marijuana patient, not a criminal.”
Wilson stopped by the gathering with his father and grandmother. His aunt bore one of the signs. The case is pending as advocates urge the Legislature to pass the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, which would give patients of debilitating diseases structured access to the drug.
Asbury Park resident Sandy Faiola, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, said it’s about time the measure is passed.
“I can get all the morphine in the world I want, which I am currently on, but I can’t any medicinal marijuana,” Faiola said. “It would be a lot easier on my body and help me a lot more.”
– Article from NJ.com on Aug 21, 2009.