Burlington County Times
By John Rheitmeyer- Email: jreitmeyer@phillyBurbs.com
'Weedman' on parole after court
A state parole program has dropped its attempt to put
marijuana-legalization advocate Ed "njweedman" Forchion back in
Forchion, 38, of Pemberton Township
has been enrolled in the state's Intensive Supervision Program since last
April after serving 16 months of a 10-year prison term for marijuana possession.
The parole program allows participants to be released early, but
requires regular drug testing and following other strict regulations.
Although Forchion passed all drug tests, program officials sent him to
Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly
last August, alleging he violated terms of his parole by remaining
outspoken on marijuana issues.
They then began proceedings to have Forchion removed from the program
and ordered to serve the remainder of his original 10-year sentence.
Forchion challenged the decision in federal court and was freed from
jail last week after a judge ruled he could not be punished for exercising
free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment. He was to appear in a state
court Tuesday for a hearing on a handful of other parole violations alleged
by program officials, but the hearing was canceled.
"We are not pursuing the charges based on the decision of the
federal court," said Tammy Kendig, a spokeswoman for the state
Administrative Office of the Courts, which oversees the program.
"They totally dropped
everything," Forchion said.
Forchion said the recent legal developments have buttressed a $4 million
civil-rights lawsuit he filed against the state for keeping him in jail
from August until last week.
"It's a slam dunk," he said.
He vowed to continue calling for the legalization of marijuana!
"The First Amendment is a tough
pill to swallow if you don't agree with what the person says," he
said. "That's basically what I proved."