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Jury Nullification Victory For New Jersey Weedman

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NJWeedmanA Jury Found Ed ‘NJWeedman’ Forchion Not Guilty Of Marijuana Distribution

Despite being barred from presenting a jury nullification defense, it appears that a New Jersey jury did indeed utilize the legal theory to unanimously vote 12-0 to declare Ed Forchion not guilty of marijuana distribution.  Mr. Forchion, known as New Jersey’s “Weedman”, had previously been found guilty of marijuana possession, but a jury was deadlocked on distribution, so a new trial was ordered to determine whether he was guilty of distribution after a pound of cannabis was found in his car.

Mr. Forchion, defended himself on the charge, arguing that his use was purely for his private medical purposes.  Weedman attempted to utilize a jury nullification defense, but the presiding judge prevented him from doing so, threatening Mr. Forchion with contempt of court if he continued with such a defense.  Luckily for Weedman, and justice, the jury didn’t need to hear an outright plea for jury nullification and delivered a not guilty verdict.

From PhillyBurbs.com:

A jury found Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion not guilty Thursday in the Rastafarian activist’s marijuana distribution case.

The decision came after Forchion was nearly held in contempt of court in the morning as he delivered his closing argument.

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Forchion, formerly of Pemberton Township, tried to introduce his jury nullification argument into the closing, but was quickly stopped by Superior Court Judge Charles Delehey, who had barred any discussion of it.

Jury nullification can always be utilized by juries when they feel that defendants should not be punished for actions, regardless if the defendant is technically guilty of a “crime”.  The doctrine has been used throughout American history, notably when citizens were charged with helping free slaves and for selling alcohol during alcohol prohibition.  It is great to see that more and more juries are understanding that they don’t have to convict non-violent, otherwise law-abiding citizens for possessing cannabis.  The fact that juries are willing to defy our draconian laws against cannabis demonstrates yet another nail being struck into cannabis prohibition’s coffin.

Republished with special permission from the National Cannabis Coalition

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About Author

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.

7 Comments

  1. I admire NJWEEDMAN. The guy sticks his neck out , NJ is no place
    to get caught with drugs.They dont see a difference between crack cocaine and marijuana ,
    Actual the government scheduling of cannabis can lead a person to believe cocaine is safer than cannabis or equally dangerous as Heroin.
    When judges dole out longer sentences for marijuana than child molesters , I have to ask how bad this system is broken.
    I would not like to be in this situation , but this is 1 of our last hopes to end the War on MJ. JURY NULLIFICATION the last hope against Jim Crow Laws!
    My hat goes off to the “weedman” for standing up to the man!

  2. Putting your life on the line for principle?
    What ever side you’re on, you have to respect that.

    Congratulations Weedman!

  3. If measure 64 is passed his knowledge will make him very employable. Godspeed to you NJweedman.

  4. Great! I am sooooooo glad to see this. I hope there’s more of it.
    I bet this really jacked-off the po-po, D.A. and other law enforecement. LMFAO!!!

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