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).