ACLU REPORT, “The War on Marijuana in Black and White: Billions of Dollars Wasted on Racially Biased Arrests," ADMITTED IN NEW JERSEY APPEALS CASE:
STATE of NEW JERSEY vs FORCHION #A004052-12T4
NJWeedman aka Edward Forchion scored a major legal victory.
On Oct 30, 2014, the New Jersey Appeals Court ruled in Forchion’s favor, conceding that the ACLU report can be used by Forchion in his appeal to further his argument that the state of NJ marijuana laws are racist.
Since his arrest on April 1, 2010, Forchion has argued among other things that New Jersey’s 2C:35 criminal statutes are racist. Burlington County trial Judge – Judge Delehey denied Forchion’s pre-trial argument that the NJ marijuana laws were racist during two very public trials in 2012. The prosecutor’s office at the time said:
“Defendant Forchion's argument calling for dismissal of this indictment in the interest of justice are premised on his claim that the laws criminalizing marijuana are racist in structure and application as well as on his belief that he himself has been unfairly targeted by New Jersey authorities. Simply put, he has presented no evidence supporting these arguments; they are without weight or merit and should be summarily rejected by the Court.”
Forchion appealed (#A004052-12T4) this RACE ruling and others to the New Jersey State Appeals Court. “This case is my Super Bowl,” says Forchion. I challenged the very validity of this law as well as its scheduling of marijuana, religious implications, state to state medical cards, and (due process), equal protection of the law issues.
The legal landscape of the marijuana laws have recently changed and my case before the New Jersey Appeals Court is now at the forefront of those changes in the New Jersey Courts. The issues raised in this case are all new, any ruling will be a precedent and become case law.
A JUlY 2013 study by the American Civil Liberties Union found that although blacks and whites use marijuana at nearly identical rates, blacks in New Jersey are 2.8 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.
So Forchion submitted the ACLU report as a supplemental to his appeal brief to bolster his arguments, and the state prosecutor’s office went to battle to keep it out. (SEE: PROSECUTOR AGRE – DON’T SUPPLEMENT THE RECORD.) John Saykanic, Esq., of Clinton, NJ is representing NJWeedman on appeal. He has requested of the ACLU-NJ to file an amicus brief is support of this appeal.
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