With this "APPEAL BRIEF" I've challenged the very "CONSTITUTIONALITY" of the NEW JERSEY marijuana laws; for failing to provide a "religious exemption". Also I am appealing for a ruling allowing for a DEFENSE of "OPEN ADVOCATION OF JURY NULLIFICATION" - this appeal has the potential to radically change laws in the State of New Jersey, and to enable ordinary citizens on the jury to change laws with "NULLIFICATION".
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LONG-AWAITED APPEAL OF THE CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS OF EDWARD R. FORCHION(A/K/A NJWEEDMAN.COM) FINALLY TO BE HEARD
WHAT: ARGUMENT IN THE APPEAL OF STATE V. EDWARD R. FORCHION
While many of Mr. Forchion’s claims of a “criminal conspiracy” by New Jersey state officials to prevent a fair trial, because he’s advocate for changing the current marijuana laws might at first blush appear to be something out of the mind of Oliver Stone, it is established fact that in January of 2003, the Honorable Joseph E. Irena’s, U.S.D.J., ordered the State of New Jersey to return Mr. Forchion to the Intensive Supervision Program since the State had violated Mr. Forchion’s First Amendment rights by incarcerating him due to his advocating a change in the marijuana laws. This is a reported federal decision (of significant precedential value) the cite of which is: Forchion v. Intensive Supervised Parole, 240 F.Supp. 302 (D.N.J. 2003); see also the front page article of the January 27, 2003, New Jersey Law Journal: “U.S. Judge Finds No Abstention Bar to Review of State’s ‘Weedman’ Jailing;” along with Mr. Forchion’s excellent website: NJWeedman.Com.
Mr. Forchion claims thought his ordeal in the
Concerning the appeal of the (Dec. 2000) criminal convictions to be argued on the 28th of April, after the filing of the appellate brief, the Honorable Stephen W. Thompson, J.S.C., (who presided over Mr. Forchion’s trial and sentenced him to ten years of prison), was charged by both state and federal authorities with child pornography. That a compulsive criminal pedophile (who, apparently, routinely flaunted the laws of this state and the federal government), was permitted by the State of New Jersey to deprive Mr. Forchion of ten years of his life is further proof of the farce and mockery of justice that have plagued Mr. Forchion.
Some of the substantial First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment constitutional issues on Forchion’s appeal include:
1) the “unconstitutionality” of the
2) the issue of “medical necessity” of marijuana;
3) religious and medical defenses;
4) the issue of jury nullification;
5) the selective prosecution of Mr. Forchion;
6) the entrapment of Mr. Forchion by law enforcement;
7) prosecutorial misconduct due to, among other things the blatent violations of BRADY/GIGLIO decisions i.e. the concealing the Arizona reports; and
8) the warrantless and unconstitutional seizure of the marijuana.
The actual appeal briefs and supporting information about this case can be reviewed on Mr. Forchion’s website at:
Mr. Forchion has petitioned the Appellate
Court to allow him to present his own oral arguements insupport of his supplemental
appellate brief. John Saykanic will argue the appeal. Hopefully, Mr. Forchion
who is again running for a seat in the
NEWS STORY UPDATE
NEWS STORY UPDATE
Marijuana activist asks for dismissal
Thursday, April 29, 2004
By WILLIAM H. SOKOLIC
A Browns Mills man stood before three appellate judges Wednesday, asking them to overturn his prior indictments on marijuana charges stemming from a 1997 incident.
Ed Forchion, a marijuana advocate, claims the courts, prosecutor and public defender's office denied his constitutional rights on numerous fronts, including due process and equal protection and illegal search and seizure.
Donning his favorite uniform - a cannabis leaf on the back and the slogan, "I love my country; I fear my government" on the front - Forchion made an impassioned plea. "Just because I advocate legalization doesn't mean I am denied certain rights," the 40-year-old said.
Why dredge up the past?
Said Forchion: "Addiction may be conquered, but conviction is not. Once convicted of a crime, it's a life sentence."
His conviction shows up when he applies for jobs. A truck driver, Forchion lost his truck and his house in the aftermath of the legal proceedings that date from his arrest in Bellmawr in November 1997.
A decision could take as long as 90 days. Should the court dismiss the indictments, Forchion faces possible trials and jail time on two other unrelated charges lumped in with the pot bust: A weapons violation for carrying a stolen gun and a theft charge for swiping $500 in chips off a blackjack table in Atlantic City, both from 1996.
But Forchion already served 17 months and with probation, would not have to serve more time, his lawyer John Vincent Saykanic said.
"I've never seen a case with so many constitutional violations," said Saykanic.
Key to Forchion's appeal is a claim that a significant piece of evidence - a cooler containing marijuana - was illegally searched in Arizona without benefit of a warrant first.
The package went from Arizona to Philadelphia and finally to Bellmawr, where authorities obtained a warrant and arrested Forchion and his brother, Russell.
"The search warrant showed what was in the box, so I knew it was opened," Forchion said. "I believe the DEA seized the package and turned it over to state authorities, violating the Fourth Amendment protection against illegal search and seizure."
In his appeal, Forchion claimed it took three years before he found out for certain the package was opened prior to obtaining a warrant.
Jack Weinberg, the attorney for Camden County, said local investigators were also unaware that the package had been opened until 2000. "As soon as we found out (about the search), we delivered the report to defense counsel chambers."
Forchion also criticized the Camden County public defender's office for its refusal to cooperate in building a defense because he favored legalization of marijuana.
"We're arguing the public defender should have pursued this case, and was wrong dismissing it out of hand. If he loses, he loses, but they dismissed it," Saykanic told the appellate panel.
Faced with a possible 20-year sentence, Forchion accepted a plea bargain in 2000 and received a 10-year sentence. He entered Riverfront Prison in January 2001.
In January, 2003, U.S. District Judge Joseph E. Irenas said the state violated Forchion's First Amendment rights to advocate a change in the marijuana laws.
If the appellate court rules against him, Forchion can request a hearing before the New Jersey Supreme Court, and if that fails, move to dismiss in federal court.
Reach William H. Sokolic at (609) 823-9159 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Appeals court upholds marijuana conviction
By MIKE MATHIS
Burlington County Times
TRENTON - (June 3rd, 2004) An appeals court yesterday upheld the conviction of marijuana-legalization activist Ed "njweedman" Forchion, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2000 for possession of marijuana he planned to sell.
Forchion was charged with helping his brother and another man pick up a shipment of 40 pounds of marijuana at Bellmawr Industrial Park in Bellmawr, Camden County, in No-vember 1997. The marijuana had been shipped from a supplier in Arizona via Federal Express.
The Pemberton Township resident was tried on charges of distributing marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in September 2000. He pleaded guilty to those charges and two unrelated charges during the trial.
He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in December 2000 and served 16 months before he was released and admitted to a supervisory program.
Although Forchion pleaded guilty, he later appealed his conviction. He contended the drug laws to which he pleaded guilty were unconstitutional and the judge who presided over his trial refused to allow him to argue that use of marijuana for medical or religious purposes should be permitted.
Forchion has long maintained his First Amendment rights are being violated because he cannot freely practice his faith as a Rastafarian or state his beliefs.
The judge also refused to allow Forchion to propose to the jury the concept of jury nullification, the process of permitting a jury to acquit a defendant because it feels the law he is accused of breaking is unjust.
Forchion, who acted as his own attorney at his trial, also contended he was denied effective assistance of counsel because the public defender who was assigned to assist him refused to argue those issues on his behalf.
The three-judge appeals panel disagreed with Forchion, ruling the trial judge acted properly when he limited Forchion's defenses.
Forchion faces other charges related to the marijuana conviction. He was indicted in Janu-ary for refusing to submit a DNA sample, required under a new state law of all state prisoners and parolees.
Forchion has challenged the constitutionality of the law in federal court, contending it is an after-the-fact form of punishment and an illegal invasion of his privacy.
If convicted, he faces 18 months in prison.
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