on all pictures"
Here on this page you will find most of the local New Jersey news stories that have been written about the NJWEEDMAN. ('Freedom of the Press')
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State officials constantly abuse NJWEEDMAN's RIGHTS
"Weedman seeks state senate seat
1/23/2007 TRENTON – Ed “njweedman” Forchion, self appointed as “New Jersey’s most famous pothead”, is gearing up for another run at political office, and he’s holding a party in the city tomorrow to raise money for his campaign. And like everything he does, a party held by the WEEDMAN is sure to attract attention – though not always the kind he’s like.
It’s going to be a peaceful gathering of potheads,” Forchion said of his upcoming fund-raiser. He’s running for State Senate, following last years bid for the U.S. Senate spot won by Bob Menendez. Forchion, who has seemingly run for just about every elected position in the state at one time or another, isn’t deluded enough to believe he’ll win.
But he’s committed enough to his one issue – the legalization of marijuana – that he keeps running to stay in the public eye and to, um, spark debate. his latest campaign, Forchion has come up with a novel fundraising technique, something he’s calling a “4.20 Raffle”.
Potential donors to his cause cough up at least $4.20, and they’re entered into the a drawing, where the winner receives an once of weed. His next drawing will take place tomorrow at Championship Sports Bar and Grill in Chambersburg, where he’s throwing a full-on bash to raise money for his cause.
Flyers for the party ask: “Do you think marijuana should be legal?” and say: Come out of the Cannabis Closet and party with New Jersey’s most famous pothead.” Admission to the party is $20, which includes one entry into the raffle. Further tickets can also be purchased.
He’s got a line up of entertainment in store including spoken word performances and comedy, along with a DJ and bands including one named Under Surveillance. Forchion is just hoping that the bands name doesn’t turn out to be prophetic, as he has already been warned that his party may be visited by undercover police officers or members of the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control.
“It’s not a smoke out,” he said. “It’s not a smoking party anyway. It’s a political party.” Though an admitted pot smoker, Forchion said he’s not going to have any on him at the party, and even the raffle winner’s prize won’t be given out at the bar.
Forchion, a member of the Rastafarian religion, said it wouldn’t surprise him if his event is being targeted, and said he’s been singled out in the past. But he said he does feel thev treatment is unfair, adding that he’s just trying to promote his political platform. “Do the police all show up when a Democratic candidate or a Republican candidate has a fund-raiser?” Forchion asked rhetorically.
But the Weedman said the possibility of a police presence isn’t getting him down. “It’s not going to change my mind,” he said. “Marijuana isn’t the evil drug the government says it is. It’s good. I’m not going to turn around and say it’s bad because the government say’s so.”
WEEDMAN off to HOLLYWOOD
Heading for greener pastures
NJweedman ready to bid farwell to N.J.
By JOE D’AQUILA
BROWNS MILLS — And like a puff of smoke, he’s gone — gone to California that is.
He’s Ed Forchion, aka the NJ Weedman, and the much maligned, often controversial, repeatedly arrested activist and politician says New Jersey won’t have him to kick around any more.
In an interview with The Trentonian from his home in Browns Mills, Forchion said he’s headed west to seek out greener pastures and to work for a company called High Ministries, a medical marijuana dispensary in Woodland Hills, Calif.
For those unfamiliar with Forchion’s fortunes over the past few years — he’s run for numerous public offices in the state including a run for the governor’s seat in 2005, running under his own political party “The Legalization of Marijuana Party.” The party’s number one issue — well, you get it.
Forchion is also a practicing rastafarian, a religion that views smoking marijuana as a sacrament.
Once at his new gig, Forchion said he’ll be assigned to, what else, dispense marijuana. “I will be selling marijuana legally,” Forchion said. California has legalized the sale of medical marijuana, though the law has often been challenged in federal courts and federal agents can arrest those engaged in the buying, selling or possessing the drug there. But Forchion said that he’s not too concerned about the legal ramifications out west and said he wished his home state would have taken up his cause and changed its marijuana laws. “This is the example that Jersey politicians should take,” he said. The Weedman said he’s flying out today to start his new job and he’s bidding his old home good riddance. “I’m just tired of living in a police state,” he said of New Jersey.
He said the company he’ll work for in California knew of him from his website, and said they weren’t worried about the controversy surrounding him, but rather saw it as a possible benefit to their operation. “That’s going to be a selling point with me at this place,” he said.
He said his wife and kids are going to stay behind in Jersey for a while and if everything works out, they’ll probably all join him this summer. Forchion said that at least for the time being, he won’t be gone for good. He said he’ll have to come back for a pending court case in Trenton Municipal Court, stemming from an altercation with a state trooper at the State House last year.
“I will have to come back a couple times for my kangaroo court,” he said. He said though that his new employer has helped set him up with an apartment to help ease his transition, and said he’ll be making a very nice living doing something he’s trained nearly his whole life for. “I’m going to be, basically, the marijuana guru,” he said. So for Forchion, who also said he hopes his move to Hollywood could start a new career in show business, it seems his life has come full circle.
“What I’m doing is ironic,” he said. “Basically I became known and all this started because I got busted selling weed. Now I’m going to California and I’m going to do it legally.”
WATCH THIS VIDEO
NJWEEDMAN at work in LA Sellin Weed, legally!
'Someone tell the do-gooders the world didn't end either'!
On Feb. 22, 2006 Judge Morley "formally" took all my visitation and custody of my daughter. I was so mad I was fearing I would "kill him". This is the real reason I had to get away. Imagine having your child taken from you because you tell the truth about "marijuana". Here in America we have the RIGHt to freely speak, except apparently in Burlington Family Court. Judge Morley has committed a crime against me and my family but there is no-one I can turn too. NORML only helps white potheads, the NAACP hates me because I'm black/non-Christian and the U.S. Attorney here in New Jersey who is supposed to protect the RIGHTS of all citizens had me arrested. ( U.S. ATTORNEY CHRISTIE is a HYPOCRITE )
TRENTON -- The Weedman is going straight.
No more hits on a bong. No more toking on a joint. No more marijuana.
That’s right Robert Edward "Weedman" Forchion, 41, of Pemberton, says he has quit smoking pot and is headed for the straight and narrow.
"I am Weedlessman now," Forchion said in a telephone interview yesterday. "And it doesn’t have anything to do with me changing my mind on the substance, but I got a job I really like now."
Forchion says he has cut out his marijuana use since getting a job back in May. At first he quit to take a drug test for the job, but then he decided to just quit altogether.
"It’s been more than two months since I smoked (pot), but I had slowed down before that," he said.
Forchion explained his wife and children played a big role in his decision.
"A lot of this has to do with my family," Forchion said.
"Every time I get arrested my wife has to come bail me out. It’s been a lot on my family."
Forchion, a Rastafarian by faith and a pro-marijuana legalization activist, was fired from a job about this time last year after, he says, his bosses mistakenly thought he took part in an anti-gay protest against former Gov. Jim McGreevey outside the State House, and became aware of his religious beliefs and political views.
Those that adhere to the teachings of the Rastafarian religion believe that smoking marijuana is a sacrament similar to the Jewish and Christian use of wine.
Although still very much a follower of the Rastafarian religion, Forchion now says he is concerned about keeping the job he has come to love with an understanding that arrests and other run-ins with the judicial system all take a financial toll.
"I need to make money," Forchion said. "I’ve been poor for a long time."
He says the turning point in his decision to quit smoking came after his arrest at the State House by New Jersey State troopers after he reportedly refused to leave the building when his request to go to Press Row was denied.
Forchion was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and defiant trespass. He is now in the midst of a legal battle with the arresting State Police officer.
A few weeks later, Forchion had another run-in with police officers at the Jersey Shore. He was distributing information on the boardwalk for his Legalize Marijuana Party. An officer told him to move because the boardwalk was not public property. Forchion said he disagreed, but moved to a nearby street corner but police were not satisfied and arrested him.
Forchion has made frequent runs for public office in the past, and now has his sights set on another office. He wants to be governor of New Jersey and admits that cutting out the marijuana use will help his candidacy.
"How can I campaign if every time I go out the police are coming after me," Forchion said. "I’m not going to take my name off the ballot, and I’m still going to give the finger to the system."
Forchion says he will continue to push for his political views, but will also remain concerned about his own safety.
"I know I’m right, but I don’t want to end up dead right," Forchion said. "I’m afraid one of these cops is going to shoot me, and then what? Oops.
"Most police officers understand free speech, but there are a few who don’t. Those are the ones who worry me."
Forchion’s run-ins with the law have made headlines over the years.
In 1997, Forchion was arrested for possession of more than 40 pounds of pot.
He served 17 months of a 10-year prison sentence and was released in April 2002. He was thrown back in jail four months later after he produced a pro-marijuana commercial but was released because a judge determined the commercial was protected by his First Amendment rights.
In 2000, Forchion took his cause to the state’s General Assembly and made a point by lighting up a joint inside the Assembly Chamber as the legislative body was in session. He was never prosecuted.
"I think I’m pretty much done with it," Forchion said. "I’m not going to give the police reason to arrest for no reason."
-- Charles Webster is the State House reporter for The Trentonian. He can be reached at email@example.com.
©The Trentonian 2005
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO THINK MY BEING AFRAID OF BEING SHOT IS EXTREME READ THESE LINKS:
I've been lucky so far none of the police have killed me, Its time to stop temting them!
Dismissed - On August 9th, 2005Forchion Vs State of New Jersey, 0-322-05:
Burlington County Superior Court Judge Dismisses NJWEEDMAN lawsuit, say's State is immune, incident was a unfortunate administrative error! - I spent 5 months in jail says WEEDMAN and the State refuses to even pay me for my lost wages!
Weedman makes gubernatorial bid
BROWNS MILLS - Local resident Edward Forchion, 40, of Browns Mills, or NJWeedman.com as he likes to be called is taking his cause a step further.
"NJWeedman.com 4 Governor" is his latest message. According to NJWeedman.com, Forchion has one big problem. "I can't even campaign in public without being accosted by the police,," Forchion said in an interview Sunday"
With the arrest record to prove it NJWeedman.com, or Edward Forchion as he is known in the system is no stranger to the police. He said he has been arrested more than 30 times, mostly for protesting.
Recently he said he was not allowed on press row in the State House for the simple reason that it was not open to the public. Forchion states that he was given no written information that press row was being closed to the public. His website, NJWeedman.com, explains in detail this and other similar experiences he has undergone.
The website covers his ongoing mission extensively. The main reason Forchion is running for governor is to send a message to those that will hear him. "I am not that high that I think I am going to win. I just want to give the finger to the system and rally others who feel the same way.," Forchion said.
His platform is that "Cannabis smokers are the only segment of the population begging to be taxed. "We believe in taxation not incarceration," Forchion said.
His proposed plan to tax cannabis would help solve three big problems he foresees for NJ in the next four years. Property taxes, a budget crisis, and a freedom crisis which he thinks is approaching at an alarming rate are all major concerns. "We are under the guise of fighting terrorism and drugs," Forchion said.
Forchion said he is qualified to be governor because he has served the state. "I served in our government's military and prison system. Now I want a leadership position," Forchion said. Forchion said that the last several governors of the state have not served well. "Christie Whitman was the worst," Forchion said.
Forchion said consolidating the school districts in the state would lead to permanent property tax relief for residents. "We don't need 180 (school) districts in New Jersey," Forchion said. Forchion said legalizing marijuana would produce a large tax for the state. "It would be in the billions," Forchion said. Forchion also said that limiting the terms of elected officials to one or two, would end corruption, along with increasing the size of the New Jersey attorney general's office. The website NJWeedman.com can be accessed for detailed information by anyone wishing to learn more about his opinions.
The website will also be offering a CD for sale by the end of this month, according to Forchion. The CD features the song NJWeedman Theme Song-Superhero to the Potheads which is about voting for him, performed by The Infamous LOS band from Trenton. Proceeds from the sale of the CD will be used to run his campaign for office. This and the donations he receives from the website are his only campaign fund sources. NJWeedman.com is a website with more than 500,000 hits overall in just two years. According to Forchion, people from all walks of life are interested in his cause.
He is just doing what Bob Marley said to in the song "Stand Up For Your Rights". In his last run for a state office which was this past November "The US Marijuana Party" got 7,000 votes in Burlington County. That was the most for any 3rd party candidate on the card according to Forchion. "Take a toke and vote for the weedman," Forchion said.
©Community News 2005
RULING DOESN’T QUELL DEBATE
By CHARLIE WEBSTER
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed what everyone has known all along – marijuana use violates federal law.
“It does just reconfirm the status quo,” said
David Evans, executive director of the Drug Free Schools Coalition.
“They didn’t overrule state law. You won’t get busted by state law
enforcement in places like
The ruling does not strike down medical
marijuana laws already in place in
The ruling also does not prevent additional states from allowing the use of medical marijuana in the future.
“They reaffirmed something we already knew,” said Assemblyman REED GUSCIORA, D-Princeton, who has been working on getting legislation to permit the use of marijuana for medical reasons.<><>
<>“I’m disappointed – especially with the more centrist members of the court – who are making note that it is up to TOM DELAY and the congress to rule on marijuana laws rather than leave it to the state laboratories that Sandra day O’Conner speaks of”.
Justice O’Conner said in dissenting with the opinion that it was Congress’ place to clarify the issue, but that states had a right to become the laboratories of medical marijuana use if they choose to do so.
Supporters of total legalization of marijuana use downplayed the Supreme Court opinion as more evidence of a activist court at work.
“The Supreme Court has issued a political decision – it has nothing to do with law,” Ed “WEEDMAN” Forchion. “It has nothing to do with marijuana. It’s a state rights case and all the states just lost.”
Forchion argues that the state’s have a right
to determine for themselves what
constitutes a medicinal drug, and sides with the state’s that have
allowed the use of marijuana. He points out that statistics have shown
that state authorities prosecute 99 in 100 marijuana cases prosecuted
“Its not going to
matter to the vast majority of people who get busted,” Forchion said.
“It just doesn’t matter because it only affects a tiny number of
people. You probably can’t even find statistics showing how many <>people in
Gusciora says that if
“We don’t want to make a criminal out of someone who is terminally ill,” Gusciora said. Evans argues that medical marijuana is not a proven treatment and has not been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. He says all medical marijuana does is provide a excuse for people who want to get stoned under the guise of medical treatment.
Supporters obviously disagree. “Marijuana laws do more harm to society then marijuana does,” Forchion said. My position is that marijuana should be legalized no matter what.”
Weedman has right to speak
Friday, June 3, 2005
Pemberton Township resident Robert Edward Forchion, a perennial New Jersey political candidate, has a message many people might not want to hear. Forchion, who prefers the moniker NJ Weedman, advocates legalizing marijuana use.
We do not endorse using illegal drugs, but we do stand behind a person's right to say he does.
Forchion has an undeniable right to state his claim as long as he doesn't break the law he's contesting. That right has been upheld by the court, but it continues to lead to confrontations with authorities.
On May 11, Forchion was arrested for trespassing at the State House in Trenton. He had attempted to pass out campaign fliers in the press offices at the state building. It is something he has done in the past. It also was not an unusual request, as candidates and others seeking the public's attention often visit the press offices.
But when Forchion showed up wearing a campaign T-shirt with a message about legalizing marijuana, a state police officer told him the press area was off limits.
What happened next will likely be settled in a court, where so many of Forchion's collisions with authorities end. The only thing both sides agree on is that Forchion was charged with defiant trespass, resisting arrest and other offenses.
It is unclear how a person can trespass in a public building during a time when it is open to the public. It is equally difficult to understand how Forchion can be denied access to an area in that public building that is frequented by the public.
Forchion might not appear to be the kind of person the First Amendment was written to protect. His in-your-face push for legalizing marijuana juts out from the American mainstream. But he is just the person for whom the amendment's free-speech rights were written - someone expressing a view the majority dislikes.
Silencing people such as Forchion will, in the end, make it harder for anyone to speak up. Silence, not the Forchions in America, poses a threat to our way of life
Weedman busted - but not for 'that'
If there's an election afoot in the state of New Jersey, you can be sure Ed Forchion wants in.
Last week, Forchion, a.k.a. NJWeedman, who advocates legalizing marijuana, said he wants to be the state's next governor. On Wednesday, the Weedman, who last ran against Rep. Jim Saxton on the U.S. Marijuana Party ticket, went to the Statehouse in Trenton to hand out campaign flyers on press row.
But state police said Forchion became "boisterous" when told that flyers could not be distributed in the Statehouse.
When he refused to leave, Forchion was arrested and charged with being a disorderly person, defiant trespassing, and resisting arrest, said Sgt. Gerald Lewis, a state police spokesman.
(Question: How does one "defiantly trespass" on state property?)
Weedman, a regular at the Statehouse, tells a slightly different story. He said the trooper was a new guy who did not like the candidate's pro-reefer T-shirt. Weedman said that when he defended the shirt as protected free speech, he was cuffed and kicked.
Either way, back to jail Weedman went.
NJ Weedman faces trespassing charges
TRENTON - Edward Forchion, the Pemberton Township resident and marijuana proponent better known by the self-ascribed moniker NJ Weedman, was arrested inside the State House building yesterday afternoon on his way to tell news reporters about his intention to run for governor, officials said.
Forchion, 40, of Browns Mills, never got past the New Jersey State Police troopers who guard the State House complex. Troopers arrested Forchion after he refused to leave the building after being told press row was not open to the public, state police spokesman Sgt. Gerald Lewis said.
He was charged with resisting, defiant trespass and improper behavior.
Although the state police say press row is not a publicly accessible area, State House-based reporters say that members of the public routinely visit the area to pitch stories.
Forchion's fight to legalize marijuana on Rastafarian religious grounds has taken him to several arenas in the past decade, from running for a number of political offices, including Congress, to firing up marijuana joints in public.
In March 2000, Forchion smoked marijuana in the State House's Assembly chambers during a session and was arrested by state troopers.
Forchion was being held last night on $40,000 bail at the Trenton Police Department lockup.
NJ Weedman arrested inside statehouse
Robert Edward “weedman” Forchion, 40, of Pemberton, was arrested at yesterday and charged with dis-orderly conduct, resisting arrest and defiant trespass, said Sgt. Gerald Lewis.
“He actually came to the front entrance, signed in and asked to be allowed to go to press row to handout fliers,” Lewis said,
“Troopers told him that the public is not allowed to access the area. The officers asked him if they could call someone to come and meet him and he refused.”
Forchion became boisterous and refused to leave, officials said.
Officers arrested him, took him to headquarters, and processed him. He is presently being lockedup on $40,000 bail, according to family members.
Forchion a Rastafarian by faith, is no stranger to run-ins with the law.
In 1997 he was convicted of possessing more than 40 pounds of marijuana and served 17 months of a 10 year prison sentence. Forchion did not return several phone calls yesterday for comment.
BY ARTEMIS COUGHLAN
Court upholds ‘Weedman’ DNA ruling
CAMDEN -- An appellate court Friday upheld the Superior Court of New Jersey’s decision not to charge Robert Edward "Weedman" Forchion with refusing to comply with an order to supply DNA samples to police.
Forchion, a frequent candidate for office, a Rastafarian by faith and a pro-legalization marijuana activist,said he was elated when he got the news Saturday.
"I am happy. Now I don’t have to supply a DNA sample," Forchion said.
In 1997 Forchion was convicted on possession of more than 40 pounds of pot. He believes that smoking marijuana is a sacrament.
He served 17 months of a 10-year prison sentence and was released in April 2002. He was thrown back in jail four months later after he produced a pro-marijuana commercial but was released because a judge determined the commercial was protected by his right of free speech.
After his release he was notified that he, as a convict, had to supply authorities with a DNA sample, Forchion said yesterday.
The state, effective Sept. 22, 2003, required that everyone who has served a sentence or other supervision as a result of a crime supply DNA samples.
The appellate court agreed with Forchion’s argument that he didn’t violate the Sept. 22, 2003 order by Judge Shirley A. Tolentino because he wasn‘t ordered to appear at a certain time or place, according to the April 8, 2004 decision.
The judge’s order "...stated you will be notified at a later date as to a time and place where this sample will be taken," according to the decision.
A separate memorandum dated Nov. 25, 2003 actually gave the notice for Forchion to appear on Dec. 2, 2003 at the Camden County Hall of Justice.
"The defendant did not violate that order. ...Under these unique and extraordinary circumstances, we must conclude that there was no clear judicial order (Forchion) disobeyed and ...the indictment was appropriately dismissed," the decision said.
Forchion refused to give a DNA sample and filed a suit in federal court saying the requirement was unconstitutional.
"I learned that 2,000 other citizens have refused to comply with the law," Forchion said.
"My DNA is safe from the government for now."
©The Trentonian 2005
THE BURLINGTON COUNTY TIMES
Appeals court upholds refusal to provide DNA sample
By MIKE MATHIS
Burlington County Times
TRENTON - An appeals court has upheld the dismissal of criminal contempt charges against marijuana-legalization advocate Ed Forchion for refusing to give the state a sample of his DNA.
"I don't think the government should have my DNA, or anyone's DNA," Forchion said yesterday. "There was no way I was going to voluntarily give it."
The state Attorney General's Office said yesterday it was considering an appeal.
At issue is Forchion's opposition to a law that requires criminals to provide DNA samples when they are sent to jail or sentenced to probation. The law also required anyone in jail or on probation at the time of its passage in September 2003 to submit DNA samples to the state.
Forchion, who lives in Pemberton Township, was enrolled in the state's probation-like Intensive Supervision Program on a 2000 marijuana-distribution conviction at the time.
Despite his outspoken defiance of the DNA-sample law, the state discharged Forchion from supervision Dec. 3, 2003, without forcing him to submit a sample.
A month later, a grand jury in Camden County indicted Forchion on a charge of contempt for not complying with the law. The charge carried a possible prison term of 18 months.
In response, Forchion challenged the indictment and the DNA-sample law.
A Superior Court judge in Camden County dismissed the charges in September after Forchion argued the court order did not specify a certain time or place to provide the DNA sample.
The state Attorney General's Office appealed the decision, but the appeals court ruled Friday it agreed with the decision by the judge from the lower court. It further found that Forchion received a notice from his program supervisor that he would not be sanctioned for refusing to provide a DNA sample.
"Under these unique and extraordinary circumstances, we must conclude that there was no clear judicial order defendant 'disobeyed' (the law) and, therefore, that the indictment was appropriately dismissed," the appeals court wrote.
April 13, 2005 6:12 AM
A U.S. District Court Judge grants WEEDMAN a stay of sentence. For now.
by Cory Frolik
While he remains mired in legal troubles and no closer to seeing himself in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to argue his " right" to smoke marijuana, things don't look half bad for Ed Forchion. At least he can toke up and test his interpretation of federal laws without the fear of jail time.
Following the Nov. 12 sentencing hearing where he received a year of probation and a $150 fine for drug possession after organizing a series of marijuana smoke-outs at the Liberty Bell, Forchion, aka NJ Weedman, was worried. "Pencil me in jail," he said, predicting he wouldn't have much luck passing court-ordered drug testing [News, "Up in Smoke," Cory Frolik, Nov. 18, 2004].
Forchion's argument was simple. Since he is Rastafarian, smoking marijuana is a religious sacrament. As such, he was protected to do so on federal property thanks to the 1993 Religious Freedom Act. The judge, however, wasn't having it.
Less than two months later, however, Forchion has seemingly caught a break. His motion for a stay of sentence (a plea to the District Court to throw out his punishment while he goes through the appeal process) was granted by U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell earlier this month.
Forchion authored the motion, which cites freedoms provided by the First Amendment, attacks U.S. Magistrate Court Judge Arnold Rapoport (he sentenced Forchion and co-defendant Patrick Duffy), and says he should be exempt from drug testing altogether. In short, the charges and probation conditions represent an unconstitutional religious persecution, maintains Forchion.
"I'm not creating something," explains Forchion. "I'm using what is already there."
In his Jan. 7 order, Dalzell wrote, "because staying Forchion's sentence will not endanger the public or seriously undermine any important public interest, the risk of irreparable injury to Forchion from being subjected to potentially invalid restraints on his liberty requires us to stay his sentence."
For Forchin, this is a massive relief. Though he didn't test positive for marijuana once during his probation, he said there was no way he was going to stop smoking the "sacrament." And because of that, he said he figured he'd ultimately pay for it. The appellate process is an uphill battle as it is, but coordinating it from behind bars would have severely complicated matters.
"It moves my case to court," says Forchion. "I don't fight it from a jail cell."
appeals court is likely to rule within two months. Until then, Forchion
knows what he'll be doing. "Praying RASTA STYLE".
APPEARING IN THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
"The Weedman smokes on"
When we last checked in with the dreadlocked crusader for free speech and the right to light up, he was fighting a fistful of federal lawsuits and mounting a U.S. House campaign.
The Weedman - real name: Edward Forchion - was also desperately trying to keep himself out of jail.
Apparently, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office hadn't looked too kindly on the Weedman's refusal to deposit his DNA into the state's criminal gene bank.
I must admit, I worried about the Weedman during my months at home with baby Jane.
He's my favorite former felon. He gives great copy.
And he may be the only political candidate in New Jersey history with the guts to put a picture of himself mooning the governor on his Web site.
Miraculously, after a lifetime of toking, the Weedman has retained enough brain cells to render him one heck of an unlicensed legal eagle.
Last year, he got his parole-violation sentence overturned after convincing a federal judge that officials had locked him up to squelch his constitutional right to proselytize about pot.
This fall, the Weedman beat the rap on that DNA case.
And last month, a federal judge considering the Rastafarian's quest to conduct smoky sacraments outside Independence Hall paid the pothead a compliment in open court.
Had Mr. Forchion ever considered going to law school? the judge asked.
He might have missed his calling.
The name game
We reunite at a Burlington County McDonald's.
The Weedman orders a chicken salad and fries.
He has a case of the marijuana munchies but plenty of time to bring me up to speed on his exploits.
Bad news: He lost the fight to change his name to NJWeedman.com.
The court said the new name would promote a criminal enterprise.
Silly judges. Publicity and provocation, not sales, are his profession.
Now the proud black man is considering filing papers to legally become Just A. Nigga.
Just to tick people off.
As we chat, a stranger stops by our booth to make a celebrity sighting.
"Are you," he askes in awe, "the actual Weedman?"
The Weedman nods, and stuffs campaign flyers into his fan's hand.
The dude pledges to vote for the Weedman, who is running on the U.S. Marijuana Party ticket against U.S. Rep Jim Saxton.
Forchion knows he's going to need a lot more McDonald's moments to unseat the incumbent.
After clashing with Comcast over his campaign ads, the Weedman finally managed to put a few of them on TV over the summer.
But he had only $1,000 to spend.
He'll have to raise more money next time around.
"I'm a gadfly," he explains, perhaps to the cable company's horror. "I'm going to run for office every year."
Fame and Forchion
Alas, neither fame nor infamy has translated into fortune for Forchion.
Over the summer, the oft-unemployed father of four finally landed a job as a courier.
Ironically, the job required him to deliver documents to the state justice officials he has mocked mercilessly.
He made $600 a week - completely legit! - but not for long.
In August, a couple of weeks after Gov. McGreevey's "I am a gay American" speech, the Weedman delivered an address of his own, right on the Statehouse steps in Trenton.
As usual, the cameras were rolling.
His bosses caught the show. And, like clockwork, the Weedman lost a job and found another fight.
He promptly filed a wrongful-termination suit, alleging he was fired for expressing political views.
McMeal finished, the Weedman says he has to get back to politicking.
He is, blessedly, a one-issue candidate. He just wants to end the drug war and legalize marijuana.
"How is it that the only way an average guy can get his voice heard today," he asks before climbing into his beat-up van, "is by taking advantage of election laws?"
NJWEEDMAN told Governor to
“kiss his ass….”
Now case is dismissed!
WEEDMAN case becomes leading
Prisoner rights case
'NJWEEDMAN' ad airs on TV:
NJWEEDMAN RUN'S COMMERCIALS!:
2004 Election Ad's
" NJWEEDMAN: STILL REFUSE'S TO GIVE DNA!"
" NJWEEDMAN FOR FREEHOLDER"
REAGAN's dead, - "PISS ON HIM"
" What's in a NAME?"
" DISSENT ESSAY"
Appeals court upholds marijuana conviction
Appeals court upholds marijuana conviction
By MIKE MATHIS
You can read the actual appeal here
NICK BERG EXECUTION STAGED
"Who really killed Nick Berg?"
"JUST A NIGGER"
NJWEEDMAN.COM name change
advocate denied name change
420 APPEAL HEARING
MARIJUANA PARTY FUND-RAISER
( THE CONDUIT )
NJWEEDMAN DENIED RIGHT
to change his name again!
( NAME CHANGE DENIAL #2 )
NJWEEDMAN & PAT DUFF
engage in another Smoke-out Demonstration
at the Liberty Bell
CLICK PICTURE ABOVE TO SEE POT-TV
Click here to see PAT explain
LATEST NJWEEDMAN UPDATE
BROWNS MILLS, NJ - The string of
courtroom victories in the last year by Ed "NJWeedman"
Forchion ended last Monday (March 1st, 2004)
when a judge ruled that he cannot recover damages for having been
wrongfully imprisoned for advocating the legalization of marijuana
while in the Intensive Supervision Program. (SEE: CENSORED and JAILED)
Comcast again CENSORS NJWEEDMAN political candidate
out of the U.S. Marijuana Party
in dis-agreement over (d) DENNIS KUCINICH"
Marijuana activist pledges more protests
Plans Dec. 6th, liberty bell smoke-out
MOUNT HOLLY - Marijuana legalization advocate Ed Forchion is getting ready to complete a 20-month parole term for drug possession, but don't expect the self-described "nj-weedman" to keep quiet once that term is done.
To celebrate the end of his parole, Forchion said he plans to go to the Liberty Bell
Forchion says he practices the Rastafarian religion and contends he uses marijuana for religious ritual. He believes a federal court ruling protects his right to use marijuana for religious purposes on federal property, such as the grounds surrounding the Liberty Bell.
Forchion, who lives in
The program calls for mandatory urine tests and other restrictions
Forchion met with the program's resentencing panel yesterday for a review hearing, and the board informed him that his term would end Dec. 3.
Forchion served more than a year of a 10-year state prison term before being released from prison in April 2002. He was then enrolled in the parole program for a 20-month term.
If he violates the terms of the program before Dec. 3, he will have to return to prison.
Forchion is no stranger to demonstrations at
government sites. He has been arrested for smoking marijuana inside the
New Jersey Statehouse in
He said he has more than one intention
for his Dec. 6t visit to the Liberty Bell. While there, he will also
officially launch a 2004 run for the U.S. House of Representatives in
the 3rd District, which is currently represented by Republican Jim
Forchion has run unsuccessfully for federal, state and county offices several times using a marijuana-legalization platform. This time, Forchion said, he will run for the first time as a member of the U.S. Marijuana Party.
THE EVENT WAS
It has been
re-scheduled for Dec 20th.
The High and the Mighty
The first time self-described marijuana-legalization spokesperson Patrick Duff smoked weed, he was an 11-year-old kid in Delran, N.J. "I was a very adventurous young man," says Duff, who, when he didn’t get high that first time, wondered what all the hype was about.
He couldn't have known that he and Mary Jane would have such an enduring, committed relationship.
Sixteen years later, Duff found himself hosting Open Minds, an hourlong weekly program on New World Radio 1540 AM. For an eight-week, buy-your-own-airtime stint that began in October, Duff -- along with a ganja-themed local hip-hop act, Herbillest -- provided a local forum for legalization activists to state their case to Philadelphians.
other shows with similar themes, Duff says that he "wasn't going to go
on there and be irate and get real crazy about the situation, [but]
actually find people who could solve the problem." Past guests include
Cannabis Hall of Fame inductee and author of The Emperor Wears No
Clothes Jack Herer,
Duff just couldn't keep the topic on weed the whole time, though, and took on cell phone giant Nextel Communications when his i90 cell gave out. He says he trusted that his $4.95-a-month manufacturer's insurance policy, along with a $35 deductible, would guarantee a new replacement. But as he went through three replacements in six months, he read the fine print and found that Nextel reserved the right to replace broken phones with "refurbished" ones.
Duff, who felt like he was getting hustled, demanded the company tell consumers new phones weren't an option and that all phones were used. He then challenged a Nextel rep to defend the company's policies on the air. Nextel responded by calling his station and apparently convincing the general manager to do some in-house censorship. In a letter from the station, Duff was threatened with being "immediately canceled" should he "even breathe the name Nextel."
Chris Doherty, Nextel's senior director of public affairs, admits they called but says they didn't threaten the station with a libel suit. According to Doherty, the company's main concern was preventing an irate Duff from publicly making slanderous comments. Doherty claims that during a phone exchange, Duff drew a parallel between Nextel's actions and the Columbine massacre. He feared similar comments might be expressed on the airwaves. New World GM Sam Speiser had no comment.
his show's off the air, Duff is considering buying more
Originally scheduled for Dec. 6 -- it was canceled due to snow -- the smokeout is slated to be held this Saturday. Unlike past smokeouts, where everyone quits smoking cigarettes, this will be more of a "smoke-in," where everyone present will celebrate "with the sacrament of marijuana," Duff says.
The rally is slated to begin at and last until , with the "sacrament" to be lit at precisely (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.) According to Duff, invitations went out to Woody Harrelson, Ashton Kutcher, Al Gore and Bill Clinton.
"People aren't going to be able to stop us. There's going to be hundreds and hundreds of us," says Duff, who's confident that the event will be an unprecedented success despite ramped-up security around national monuments since the 9/11 attacks. Holding the event on federal property is by design, since participants -- arrested participants, hypothetically -- could seek protection from prosecution under religious-freedom claims. (Forchion, who got pinched with 40 pounds, is a Rastafarian who says court rulings have defended his right to smoke weed during religious rituals.) The location also keeps the Philadelphia Police Department out of the mix, as Independence Mall lies under the National Park Service's purview.
As of earlier this week, Park Service spokesperson Phil Sheridan said he hadn't heard about the planned protest, so no responses were available.
are areas designated for exercising your First Amendment rights," says
Marijuana activist uses act of defiance to launch campaign
Newly off probation, Ed Forchion of Browns Mills announced a bid for the U.S. House, then lit up.
By Sam Wood,Inquirer Staff Writer
Call it a joint announcement.
Not that he got a chance to smoke it.
After just a few tokes Saturday afternoon, a phalanx of 17 park rangers surrounded Ed Forchion, also known as NJ Weedman.
The rangers confiscated the candidate's joint, and Forchion, 44, was issued a $150 ticket for possession of a controlled substance.
Minutes before, while standing between
Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Pavilion, Forchion
said he intended to run as the U.S. Marijuana Party's candidate for the
seat held by Republican Jim Saxton in
The district extends across
Also cited shortly after was Pat Duff, 27, who said he intended to run as the Marijuana Party's candidate for Philadelphia City Council in 2007. The self-described "renegade car salesman" said he would run on a platform encouraging the opening of cannabis cafes across the city.
About 50 supporters, many with video cameras and shivering against the wind, had gathered to watch Forchion and Duff ceremoniously light up.
The time and setting had been chosen with Karl Rove-ian precision. "Four-20" is stoner slang for smoking marijuana. The park had the benefit of being federal property, outside the jurisdiction of the Philadelphia Police Department.
"We're peaceful, patriotic potheads," the soft-spoken Forchion said. "We had meant to do this on Dec. 6, but it snowed and ruined what we'd thought was going to be a big turnout."
On Dec. 3, Forchion
completed 20 months of probation in
"I'm happy," he said of putting probation behind him, "I can run for office again."
Forchion, of Browns Mills, has run for
A Rastafarian, Forchion has said he smoked marijuana for religious reasons, to relieve back pain, and to help him deal with chronic depression. The former cross-country truck driver has been an advocate of legalizing marijuana since the mid-1990s.
His high jinks have been celebrated in what is left of the counterculture. Among his stunts: lighting up in the New Jersey Assembly while wearing a black-and-white-striped prisoner's costume.
Saturday's announcement was intended to make a more sober point, he said, adding that he intended to challenge the rangers' citations in court.
"This is all about a First Amendment issue," Forchion said. "Freedom of religion allows for the religious use of marijuana on federal property. I'm just exercising that right."
NJWEEDMAN GOES ON TRIAL
WEEDMAN was arrested by Officer Wingo, for two phony warrants!
Now he has a court date (Oct. 23rd) with Judge 'ASSHOLE' Andronici
This guy 'really' has got his head-up his ass!
"Another Act of Civil Dis-obedience by the NJWEEDMAN"
NJWEEDMAN REFUSES TO PROVIDE DNA
WEEDMAN TELLS GOV: "KISS MY ASS..."
THE NEXT "PLANNED" MAJOR NJWEEDMAN ACT OF CIVIL DIS-OBEDIENCE
PAST ACCOUNTS of BREAKING NJWEEDMAN NEWS
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