My born name is Robert Edward Forchion Jr. I've been publicly known as the New Jersey Weedman (NJWeedman) since the 90's, because of my New Jersey based avocation of marijuana legalization. Though I could just as easily be called Jury Nullification-man, because I've also always advocated using Jury Nullification to win the "WAR on POTHEADS", using Jury trials. The only reason I'm able to write this article now, as a freeman, is because 7 months ago Oct 18th, 2012 a New Jersey jury of 12 found me "Not Guilty", despite the fact I was "GUILTY" of violating the State marijuana laws. If I hadn't used Jury Nullification I'd be 7 months into a New Jersey state prison sentence of at least 10 years.

njweedman_statehouse.jpgSO LET ME TELL YOU HOW IT STARTED and HOW I'M FREE TO TELL YOUOn April 1st 2010, I was visiting New Jersey from California, where I'd moved in 2008. Oh, that's right, I was arrested on "April FOOLs DAY" in Mt Holly NJ for possession of 1 pound of marijuana, with the intent to distribute. I spent four days in the Burlington County jail. I was released on April 5th, 2010, after posting bail for this charge, and paid a few tickets. OMG, I was angry! I didn't feel foolish. I was instantly ready to fight these charges. I went straight into BATTLE MODE. My thought was "this is a fucking war"! The Government types call it a "WAR on DRUGS". Well, I'm doing battle, because I'm a person, not a drug, and war is being waged on me. I said, "I'm not surrendering I'm fighting back, no pleas from me".

I called all the local newspapers upon release. I told them I was going to be openly fighting the charges, using a Jury Nullification defense. The Burlington County Times covered the case, start to finish. I was going to challenge the criminal laws as being outdated and flawed, based on the fact that the State of New Jersey had recognized marijuana's medical use with the passage of the Medical Marijuana Compassionate Use Act C.24:6I-2 on Jan 18th, 2010. I said, at the end of this case, the GOVERNMENT will be judged the fool that day. I did a video INTERVEIW immediately and posted it on line as STATEMENT #1 - https://vimeo.com/24099651


This wasn't the first time I'd used Jury Nullification. And I'd openly vowed to once again use Jury Nullification. As In my case from 1997, that went to trial in 2000. In that case, I was caught in a conspiracy to possess and distribute 39 pounds of marijuana. Everyone thought I was an easy conviction, but I utilized a Jury Nullification defense, which forced a plea deal. In that case John Wynne, the Camden County assistant Prosecutor, readily admits, "The notion that Forchion's jury-nullification strategy could actually work-perhaps setting a precedent for other similar cases-also played into his decision to extend the deal."I didn't want the jury to say that the drug law was not good," says Wynne. "There was always a chance that they would, and my attitude was, why risk that?"

So I once again vowed to use Jury Nullification. On the third day of that trial, Sept 20th, 2000, I had accepted a plea deal that I immediately regretted. I even tried to legally motion to withdraw my plea. I'd regretted it ever since. Thus, this new case was going to give me a chance to redeem myself. This case was now going to give me the opportunity to beat the State publicly, to expose the State and its citizens to the tactic of Jury Nullification. I wanted my revenge, and this case was going to do it. The State wages a war on potheads; well, I was going to fight back. I wasn't going to be a defendant I was going to fight this with an offense. I'd asked NORML Lawyers to help me, but they declined so I said, FUCK the pussies at NORML, (the coward's in charge), the pansies. There is a "War" going on, and these dudes are writing letters. If it's a war Burlington County wanted, well I was going to give it - not take it! My defense wasn't a defense at all - it was an offense. I planned on winning this battle big-time publicly. Fuck the Law, Fuck the lawyers. Give me the Jury. I didn't give a fuck. I was going to continue to smoke publicly anyway. I predicted the state will be regarded as the fool for having arrested me in the first place, when this case ended. I wanted to shove this up victory up the States Ass, as well as the leaders of NORML-NATIONAL's ass.

njweedman_boxing.jpgMany People didn't understand how a jury trial could be very good for me. Because we aren't taught Jury Nullification, even our so called leaders of the marijuana reform movement wouldn't take this doctrine seriously, or they did, but didn't really want to end the war on pot either. Many who didn't understand Jury Nullification, felt I was talking myself into prison. Some knew and understood, but didn't think the people were ready for that argument. The lawyers didn't think that, they understood my plan, and didn't want it implemented. In my opinion "I felt I, and people like me, are un-convictable", because we openly don't believe the Government lies about marijuana. We aren't afraid to say it publicly, even to the Jury. My logic at the time was, I just needed one juror to agree with me, and then say it after deliberations. I was going to openly try to get a hung jury. Which really isn't that usual; every defendant in the world is trying to get anything but a conviction, to me a hung jury would be a victory. STATEMENT # 2 - The Law is wrong not I..



When the Trooper read me my Miranda Rights on April 1st 2010, saying; "anything I do and say could be used against me". I also knew it could be used for me, before a Jury. In my opinion, my admitting to my use, my reasons and my disbelief in the LIE perpetuated by the marijuana law, made me conviction proof to a fully informed jury. I wanted to present truthfulness before my jury; I wanted my public statements to be presented to my jury. I felt these things would make me un-convictable, if given the opportunity to speak directly to the Jury. So I announced immediately I'd be representing myself. This was a tactic - a way of me giving my own opening statements to the jury - without being required to actually take the stand. (I thought this was brilliant - why don't lawyer's assistant their clients with tactics like this?). Many citizens don't realize that anyone can represent themselves. Representing yourself doesn't mean you're left with no counsel! In fact, please follow my logic, and legal reasoning. But first read the 6th amendment!

6th Amendment - "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence".

The 6th Amendment say's, "to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence." - Now think that out the U.S. Bill of Rights, The Constitution which all of our laws get its power and authority from says defendants have the RIGHT to have "assistance of counsel". That's all I wanted for my case!! All I wanted was a lawyer provided to me for my assistance on the technical aspects of the law, research and courtroom procedure. I demanded to represent myself. I did not want a lawyer to represent me I'm perfectly capable of representing myself. I knew the most powerful entity and the only entity I needed to communicate with was the Jury. I was positive I could communicate with a jury of my peers. For that reason I didn't need a lawyer just an assistant. Ultimately this task was assigned to assistant Burlington County Public Defender Donald Ackermann. The Judge and the prosecution fought this several times during this case. It's called a hybrid representation, some Judges try to prevent it but it's legal. The 6th amendment also says for "his defence". So taken as a whole this clause literally means you can chose your own defense and you have Right to a lawyer to assist you. So my choice in self representation and defense was actually what I called a "Open Avocation of Jury Nullification - aka- " NJweedman Defense" & Donald Ackerman of the Burlington Co., Public Defender's Office was ultimately assigned to provide me with the 6th amendment mandated assistance.

That's exactly what I wanted and I was familiar with the U.S. Supreme Court case(s) of California Vs Green and Farretta Vs California, 422 U.S. 806 (1975) which also said - "The right to the assistance of counsel, the court concluded, was intended to supplement the other rights of the defendant, and not to impair "the absolute and primary right to conduct one's own defense in propria persona." Id. at 274."

The Supreme Court has often recognized the constitutional stature of rights that, though not literally expressed in the document, are essential to due process of law in a fair adversary process. It is now accepted, for example, that an accused has a right to be present at all stages of the trial where his absence might frustrate the fairness of the proceedings, Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U. S. 97;

See California v. Green, 399 U. S. 149, 399 U. S. 176 (Harlan, J., concurring). Page 422 U. S. 819 The Sixth Amendment does not provide merely that a defense shall be made for the accused; it grants to the accused personally the right to make his defense. It is the accused, not counsel, who must be "informed of the nature and cause of the accusation," who must be "confronted with the witnesses against him," and who must be accorded "compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor." Although not stated in the Amendment in so many words, the right to self-representation -- to make one's own defense personally -- is thus necessarily implied by the structure of the Amendment. The right to defend Page 422 U. S. 820 is given directly to the accused; for it is he who suffers the consequences if the defense fails.

I was gearing up to have a battle - I made a vow that I'd make this the most important marijuana case in New Jersey history. I had previously sworn off activism when I fled to California in 2008 seeking political asylum, proudly telling people I was no longer an "weed activist but now a weed capitalist". Now that I was forced thru this arrest to fight again. I had to don my weed activist hat again in April 2010. I was going to use tactics, motions and briefs both in the court and out of the court to fight these charges. I would have to be NJWeedman Super-hero of the Potheads again. This was déjà vue all over. The same tactics I used after my 1997 arrest and 2000 trial, I was going to employ this time, except I wasn't going to accept any plea deal no matter what this time - Jury Nullification all the way to verdict. I had perfected this defense in my head for 10 years. There was no way I could lose. I was positive this was my destiny;, I knew I was the 21st century William Penn.

I knew this case to me was going to be different than the (1997 -2000) case. I was not going back unless a jury sends me back. FUCK plea bargains. The bargain is for the state. Plea offers are nothing but bribery by the state. It's a bribe of leniency by the state to give up ones right to a trial. During this case I motioned the Judge to order the state to stop attempting to bribe me out of my right to a fair trial. I figured since the last case took almost three years to get to trial in Camden County which is a busier court than this county, it would take less time in Burlington County I figured two years - 2012. I was right. The trial was scheduled for April 2012 but was delayed one more month until May 1st, 2012.



After two years of pre-trial motions and proceedings I finally rolled in town; the case finally went to trial - it began on May 1st, 2012. My plan was now being implemented. I knew that cases can be won or lost in opening statements. Burlington County Prosecutor Michael Luciano in my opinion lost the case in his opening statement when he called me a "Charlatan and a Wolf in sheep's clothing" and tried to portray me as a drug dealer.

buy_in_bulk.jpg I was representing myself and I gave my own opening statements. I thanked the Jurors for not weaseling out of jury duty like many before at final selection. I introduced myself and I answered every "vior question" that they had to answer as part of the Jury selection process. My logic was to remove that "DEFENDANT" label that the prosecution tries to label marijuana defendants. I was a victim of a wrong - flawed law and I told my Jury immediately that I did nothing wrong. The law was wrong not I. "I'm the VICTIM". That's where I won the case. I did nothing wrong I said. I continued that with, "I smoked marijuana this morning and I will smoke it at lunch I know some of you are tobacco smokers and you will be able to smoke outside the courthouse doors. I said I smoke marijuana like you smoke cigarettes so I will have to go across the parking lot to avoid getting easily arrested. Tonight after court I will smoke marijuana and before bed I will eat marijuana".

Additional, I told my Jurors I had BONE CANCER Even though the criminal statute I was being prosecuted under didn't allow for my use of marijuana for medical reasons, I did everyday the law was wrong not I.

I compared my having a pound of marijuana with them having a carton of cigarettes. I told them some people buy a cup of coffee everyday others buy 5 pounds and make their own, some people go to the store everyday and buy a pack of cigarettes. I had exhibits of these items to point to before them. Likewise some people like me buy marijuana a pound at a time instead of $20 bag every day. Plus I'm a cancer patient I eat marijuana and it takes more marijuana to cook with than to smoke. This is why I carried such a large amount. During my opening statement, I also showed them on a big poster board - New Jersey Constitution Article 1 paragraph 6 reads: "IN ALL PROSECUTIONS AND INDICTMENTS …….THE JURY MAY BE PRESENTED THE TRUTH AS EVIDENCE ……THE JURY MAY JUDGE THE FACTS AS WELL AS THE EVIDENCE."

The case drew reporters from all 5 local papers. The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Courier Post, The Philadelphia Daily News, The Burlington County Times, and The Trentonian covered the trial. The Associated Press also put out news blurbs on the national wire. The entire South Jersey and Philadelphia region was getting a firsthand lesson on Jury Nullification, and the power of an informed defendant fighting for his life, freedom and a cause. This was giving them the History lesson of William Penn, resurrected in the 21st century. This open lesson was picked up nationally, and has awakened a sleeping giant in this nation. From coast to coast the cry of Jury Nullification is being heard, and many a defendant has attributed this knowledge to my case.

jury_picture.jpgThe prosecution's case wasn't very strong from the get-go, but to try to paint me as an ordinary drug dealer didn't fly. The jury knew my story. At one point, they even asked the Judge if they could look at my website - Ha ha! I knew they would anyway, since that was a part of my plan. I knew I had won. I knew they'd look and read that they didn't have to convict me. My website was a message, a lesson to my jurors.

FM 101.5 the hugely popular state talk show covered the case and allowed me to call in and give updates, the Judge and the Prosecutor didn't like it. The Prosecutor even tried to get the Judge to order me not to talk to 101.5 lol - He denied it but ordered the jurors not to listen. The next day I called in the 8am hour and the entire 8-9am show was about my case. Im sure at least one juror listened on their way to the trial.

I felt like a genius, and was happy I was getting revenge for the previous trial. The Judge was pissed and scolded me - Judge takes Forchion to task for trying to 'scuttle the judicial process' - It didn't m,ake a difference to me.

After two weeks of a public trial On May 10th 2012 the Jury hung 7-5. I'd proved my point after 12 years of frustration at accepting the bribe/plea deal I'd won with a hung jury. The prosecutor was embarrassed and immediately demanded a re-trial. Another hearing hearing a week later May 17th the Judge ordered a new Trial and I filed a motion to dismiss again. The Judge scheduled a new trial for Septemeber 4th, 2012 and pre-trial hearing for August 14th, 2012 to ruling on motion to dismiss.

At the hearing the Judge denied Motion to VACATE. The Prosecutor then complained about the date of the new trial as JURY RIGHTS DAY (9/5) and cried I'd been advertising it in connection to my case and Jury Nullification so the retrial was then again rescheduled for October 10th 2012. LOL!


In the four months between trial's I publicly humiliated the Burlington County Prosecution and enlightened the entire region of Jury Nullification. I gave interviews and the headlines where: "NJweedman seeking potheads for jurors", and NJWeedman says he's" conviction proof".

The famous "Weedman NJ" has little to worry about in his upcoming trial, it would seem. He says he's "conviction proof." A jury was finally selected before Burlington County Superior Court Judge Charles Delehey in the case of defendant Ed Forchion, who has been on a long quest to smack down New Jersey's laws against marijuana.

I and was openly unrepentant, defiant and taunting the prosecution. On Oct 10th, 2012 the state once again attempted to convict me in a second trial and the exact same results occurred the only surprise to me was it was a 12-0 verdict of "NOT GUILTY". The Jury upends the marijuana laws and lets me walk free! Over 150 newspapers across the country wrote about it, numerous magazines, radio/Tv stations covered it and god only knows how many bloggers talked about it.

I'd won the fight, just like Muhammad Ali won the thriller in manila but spent three days in the hospital, and took 6 months to recover because although he'd won his fight with Frazier he took a beating. Same with me I'd won but After two and half years of fighting the state I ended up famous and broke



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