‘NJ Weedman’ Welcomes His Arrest on Marijuana Charges

Ed Forchion doesn’t deny it. There was a pound of marijuana – “high-grade California Kush” – in the trunk of his rent-a-wreck when he was stopped in Mount Holly on Thursday night by a state trooper.

The dreadlocked Rastafarian, better known as “NJ Weedman,” who ran unsuccessfully for New Jersey governor and U.S. and state representative on the Marijuana Party ticket, was released from the Burlington County jail on Tuesday after posting $50,000 bail on drug possession and distribution charges.

He did not intend to be arrested, said Forchion, 45. “But now that I’ve been charged, it feels like destiny. That’s exactly what I wanted to do.”

Forchion, who moved from Browns Mills two years ago to open a medical-marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles called the Liberty Bell Temple, said he returned to South Jersey last week “to spend a little time in the courts.”

Forchion has been a vocal critic of the New Jersey law, passed in January, that legalized marijuana use by patients with cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and other debilitating diseases.

“I was coming home on a mission to file some paperwork and challenge it,” Forchion said on Tuesday.

The criminal statute in New Jersey states that marijuana has no medicinal value. The new measure does recognize a medical use for the drug, but only gives “a certain class of people” permission to use it, he said.

Forchion said the new law violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

His arrest gives him the opportunity to take his stand to the New Jersey courts, he said.

“I’m going to fight,” Forchion said, acknowledging that he could be sentenced to seven years in prison if convicted. “I’m not afraid to go to jail. I think I can win.”

Forchion was driving a rented 2001 Pontiac Grand Am Thursday after 10 p.m. when he pulled up to a stop light on Route 38. He said he had been visiting his children in Burlington County and was headed to Camden County, where he planned to stay with other relatives.

A trooper who pulled alongside Forchion said the Pontiac rolled into the intersection before the light turned green, said Sgt. Steve Jones, a state police spokesman.

After stopping the Pontiac, the officer smelled burned marijuana and saw a glass smoking pipe on the rear floor. Forchion says the pound of marijuana troopers found in a suitcase was for personal use. He denied he had any intention of selling it.

“A pound of marijuana is like a carton of cigarettes to me. What do they think I was going to do? Sell nickel bags on the corner?” he scoffed. “I’m the Weedman.”



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  4. njweedman on


    NJWeedman to run for Congress

    MOUNT HOLLY – Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion, the longtime marijuana activist who until recently was living in self-styled political exile in California, is running for Congress again.

    Forchion filed his petition Friday to run as an independent for New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District seat, which covers parts of Burlington, Camden and Ocean counties and is held by Democrat John Adler of Cherry Hill.

    Although Forchion has lived in California since 2008, he said he has always maintained a legal residence in Pemberton Township. He runs the Liberty Bell Temple on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, a state-registered medical marijuana clinic where he legally sells pot and claims to run the only Rastafarian ministry in the city. Marijuana is used as a sacrament in his religious practice.

    NJWeedman’s return to the Garden State last month to visit his children ended with him behind bars. He was charged with possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, drug possession with the intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia after police stopped him on Route 38 in Mount Holly for rolling through a red light and found about a pound of pot in the trunk of his rental car.

    Forchion said he was racially profiled, a claim the New Jersey State Police deny.

    After a few days in Burlington County Jail, Forchion made bail and had a renewed spirit to fight the system.

    He fought for years in New Jersey to legalize the use of marijuana for medical and spiritual purposes.

    The founder of the Legalize Marijuana Party of New Jersey has run previous unsuccessful campaigns for governor, U.S. Senate, Congress, the state Legislature, and the Burlington County Board of Freeholders.

    He also lost his bid in New Jersey Superior Court to have his name officially changed to NJWeedman six years ago.

    He currently has a petition filed in Los Angeles Superior Court to have his name legally changed to NJWeedman.com, the name of his website.

    Advertisement “New Jersey wouldn’t do it, but California shouldn’t have a problem with it,” he said Friday.

    The congressional race and name change are all part of Forchion’s effort to “pollute the jury and support my jury nullification” case as part of his pending criminal matter, he said.

    “When my case goes before the jury, I want them to know who I am and be totally aware of me and my views and maybe one will agree with me,” Forchion said.

    He is also fighting for visitation with his 14-year-old daughter, who he says he has not been allowed contact with because of his views on marijuana.

    “It is a national debate and you’re supposed to be able to talk about whatever you want,” he said. “Politicians can talk about it, but I am punished for it.”

    Forchion also plans to file a constitutional challenge to New Jersey’s new medical marijuana law as part of his criminal case, he said.

    In January, Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed legislation that would allow patients diagnosed with severe medical conditions, including AIDS, cancer, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig’s disease, to access marijuana grown and distributed through state-monitored dispensaries.

    Forchion said he would file a constitutional challenge of the law on the grounds that the state’s criminal code – the one he was arrested and charged under – reads that marijuana has no medicinal value.

    The 3rd District race promises to be closely watched. Former Philadelphia Eagle Jon Runyan of Mount Laurel is facing a primary challenge from “traditional Republican” candidate Justin Murphy of Tabernacle next month.

    The Republicans are hoping to take back the seat Adler won in 2008.

    Contact: [email protected] or 609-267-7586

  5. NJweedman on


    NJWeedman Purports Jury Nullification,
    Says If It Doesn’t Make Sense,
    You Must Acquit
    to New Jersey Marijuana Law

    New Jersey – On April 1, 2010, Ed Forchion aka NJWeedman made headlines. He was busted in New Jersey with a pound of cannibus in the trunk of his car. April Fool’s Day was playing itself out in full glory. The man, notorious for his run-ins with the New Jersey law, now a transplant living in California and dispensing medical

    marijuana legally on a daily basis, returns home to get….arrested! And so the saga continues for NJWeedman, America’s most prominent Black activist for the legalization of marijuana.

    Ironically, as the owner of his own medical marijuana dispensary in Hollywood, CA now, his arrest was a coup of sorts for the New Jersey police. Indeed, it was an April Fool’s Day tale the media could not resist. Yet while Ed Forchion’s arrest in Mount Holly, NJ made front page news, his trial will be likely be heralded as marijuana’s own Roe vs. Wade case. Forchion plans to represent himself and utilize the open advocation of jury nullification as a defense to his charges. Since the New Jersey constitution (article 1, paragraph 6) allows a jury to judge an actual law as well as the facts in a case, Forchion wants the jury to recognize that the New Jersey marijuana laws are unjust and thereby acquit him.

    As the founder of the Legalize Marijuana Party of New Jersey, Forchion is no newcomer to the politics game. He ran campaigns for Governor, Congress, the State Legislature, and the Burlington County Board of Freeholders. As detailed in his recently released tome, “Public

    Enemy # 420” (www.createspace.com/3425534 ) Forchion has a history that spans decades in his quest for his right to smoke marijuana legally. With this recent arrest, the cannabis activist will add a new chapter to his life story as he represents himself in the case and brings to the forefront once again, the rarely discussed issue of “jury nullification.”

    This will be Forchion’s second bid to bring the issue of jury nullification to the forefront of the judicial system. A practicing Rastafarian, he faced up to 30 years in prison back in 1997 when he was arrested and charged with conspiracy and possession of over 40 pounds of marijuana. He acted as his own defense counsel then, with a defense of religion, medical and open advocation of jury nullification. The issue of jury nullification so rattled the courts back then that he was offered a plea bargain, which he took, avoiding a possible lengthy jail sentence. To this date, he regrets that decision. Calling the prosecution’s plea offer a bribe, he admits he was lured out of his right to a trial. He envisions this case as another opportunity to bring jury nullification back to the forefront.

    Weedman plans to utilize jury nullification to fight to not only have his charges dropped, but he also plans to file a lawsuit against the state to overturn the medical marijuana law. Forchion believes the New Jersey law is unconstitutional for allowing terminally ill people to possess marijuana while state criminal law prohibits anyone else from possessing pot.

    “The state should not be able to have two legal descriptions of the same substance,” Forchion states. “How can the state be allowed to have it both ways arresting some people on criminal laws that state marijuana has no medical value while also allowing others to use marijuana for medical use? Isn’t that a violation of the 14th amendment right to equal protection of the law,” cites Forchion.

    Forchion’s defense raises heckles in the legal establishment, but it’s based on a time honored doctrine. “Jury nullification of law,” as it is sometimes called, is a traditional American right defended by the Founding Fathers. Those Patriots intended the jury to serve as one of the tests a law must pass before it assumes enough popular authority to be enforced. Thus the Constitution provides five separate tribunals with veto power – representatives, senate, executive, judges and JURY – that each enactment of law must pass before it gains the authority to punish those who choose to violate it.

    “There is a reefer revolution going on in this country and it can’t be denied. Fourteen states now recognize the medicinal value of this sacred herb on some level. By purporting the issue of jury nullification, I’m just looking for at least one juror to examine the New Jersey marijuana laws and recognize the contradictions in it. Not guilty is the verdict I’m hoping for,” cites Forchion. “I’m openly going to challenge my jury to render a verdict in spite of the law. The law is wrong, based on lies and false facts. I wish to tell my jurors the truth about marijuana. I want to tell the jury that this law I’m charged with violating is wrong not I.”

    NJWeedman is a cult figure in the marijuana legalization community. He achieved local media notoriety when he was arrested for smoking marijuana in front of the entire New Jersey State Assembly in 2000, then garnered a national platform when he fired it up at Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, PA during the Republican National Convention.

    Upon relocating to Los Angeles a few years ago, in what he calls a self-imposed political exile, he opened his own legal medical marijuana dispensary, the Liberty Bell Temple. The dispensary is located at 5642 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, CA and represents the basic concepts of democracy and faith.

    Forchion is continually fueling his advocacy for the medical marijuana movement. Up until this arrest, he has claimed he was no longer a weed activist and instead insisted he was a weed capitalist. His Hollywood ‘pot parties’ are now legendary and he recently stirred controversy with his “Obama One Year in Office” party celebration. Now ironically, he is compelled to return to his activism roots and embrace his popular moniker, “NJWeedman Super-hero to the Potheads.”

    His NJ Weedman video series, filmed from the shop and seen on his website at http://www.libertybelltemple.com/Home.htm and at YouTube.com, commands a following of viewers from around the world. He regularly updates his footage with vivid coverage of the happenings in his shop, including specials on the vast varietals of medicinal marijuana he is now able to serve up legally, daily to his patients.

    NJWeedman discusses his April 1 arrest in full video detail at vimeo.com/11030959. To explore the issues more, go to http://www.NJWeedman.com and to purchase his book, “Public Enemy 420” go to http://www.createspace.com/3425534.

  6. Daniel Johnson on

    Given all he’s been through, everything he’s sacrificed over the years, it’s good to see the NJWeedman still bashing at the wall. The man is an inspiration.

  7. Julio on

    Weedman is truly a patriot to our cause!

  8. UncleBob100 on

    A pound of weed (450 grams) 15 grams daily is my monthly prescription from my doctor and MMAR Health Canada. A pound really is nothing when you use it to make edibles. I make a batch of popcorn for example, 1/2 cup popcorn seeds, and 1/4 cup Canna Olive Oil. A batch of brownies takes 3/4 cup canna olive oil. (And a little more oil to grease the pan) Eating the herb is more effective for me and longer lasting. I have very good sleep/rest after some baked goods. You can also rub this oil on your skin where chronic or acute pain exists. Thank Jah for medical cannabis!

  9. Bob100 on

    Go get ’em weedman!

  10. Greg A on

    “A pound of marijuana is like a carton of cigarettes to me. What do they think I was going to do? Sell nickel bags on the corner?” he scoffed. “I’m the Weedman.”

    I Love Weed, LOVE IT! but have not yet had a pound for my self, I will continue in my dream now…………….