Marijuana activist ‘NJWeedman’ convicted of pot possession, jury hung on distribution charge

By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, May 10, 6:37 AM

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. — Jurors in New Jersey have delivered a mixed verdict at the trial of a marijuana activist who lives in California and goes by the name “NJWeedman.”

The panel in Mount Holly on Wednesday convicted Ed Forchion of possession of one pound of pot in the trunk of his car. However, they could not reach a verdict on whether he intended to distribute it.

The 47-year-old moved to Los Angeles several years ago to run a medical marijuana dispensary. He was arrested during a traffic stop in April 2010.

He could not use New Jersey’s medical marijuana law as a defense.

Forchion told The Courier-Post of Cherry Hill (http://on.cpsj.com/JhKWmV ) he was happy he didn’t get thrown in jail while he awaits a retrial for the distribution charge.

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Information from: Courier-Post, http://www.courierpostonline.com/

THE NJ WEEDMAN HEADS TO COURT

THE WEEDMAN HEADS TO COURT ( 4/25/2012)

Ed Forchion, dreadlocks falling across his face, sat in a booth at the Dolphin Diner on Route 130 in Burlington Township, explaining how he plans victory “for potheads everywhere.”

“I win this case, I’m a hero, a legend. One juror — just one — that’s all I need,” he said. “I think I’ll be able to tell who, too. You know how some people have ‘gaydar’ — they can tell who’s gay? I have ‘weedar.’ I can tell who’s cool with weed.”

He’ll look for that person in a courtroom at the county courthouse in Mount Holly, where his trial for possession of a pound of pot is set to begin May 1.

Forchion, 47, is known as NJWeedman, a celebrity among dedicated marijuana smokers.

At the diner, people wave to him. A man several booths away mouths “good luck.” Weedman returns the warm regards.

“See? That guy knows who I am,” he said.

Of course, it’s hard to miss his calling card in the parking lot — a van artistically adorned from bumper to bumper with pro-weed slogans, marijuana leaves, and depictions of himself blowing pot smoke into Uncle Sam’s face. He calls it the Weedmobil. He traveled in it with a friend from his home in Los Angeles, where he is the proprietor of a medical marijuana shop.

Or was. Last year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency busted him. This compounded his bust in Mount Holly in 2010. Forchion had been visiting family when he was pulled over for a traffic violation, and the police found weed in his rental car.

Now, awaiting trial, he’s broke and using Facebook to solicit contributions to put gas in the Weedmobil.

In spite of this, he seems a cheerful soul. He is a charming dining companion, tells good stories, smiles easily, and is unfailingly polite. His cause is the legalization of marijuana, which, he said, he uses daily. (He produced a document from Dr. Edward A. Alexander of Los Angeles, who vouches for Forchion’s need for pot, not only for medical reasons but also for “spiritual” reasons. Forchion is a Rastafarian.)

“I’ve been called a fakin’ Jamaican, but this is who I am,” he said.

Forchion was born in New Jersey and grew up in Sicklerville, Camden County. Good parents. Happy childhood.

“The first time I smoked pot was right here in Willingboro,” he said. “I was 14 or 15. It was the summer of 1979. It was a peer-pressure thing. My cousin was there, and these kids were all passing around a joint, right there in Pennypacker Park.”

He inhaled, got the giggles, and thoroughly enjoyed the high.

“That day was when I realized that pot is not some boogeyman, like in ‘Reefer Madness.’ That was a good day, a defining moment in my life,” he said.

After high school, Forchion enlisted in the Marines. A health issue got him a medical discharge. He spent six years in the Army, where he was trained as a medical technician.

He married, divorced and has five children, ages 5 to 26. He worked as an independent coast-to-coast trucker. It was in Phoenix in the early 1990s where he realized the appealing economics of dealing weed.

“You could buy a pound for $300 in Phoenix and sell it in Jersey for $1,200,” he said. “So I got 10 pounds and sold it. Then I got 30 pounds.”

He was rolling in dough. He bought a house in Chesilhurst, Camden County, next to the police chief’s place. In the late 1990s, he was busted, served three months in prison, got out, and moved to the pot-friendly West Coast.

Forchion’s case in Burlington County is novel in two ways. Superior Court Judge Charles Delehey will permit him to represent himself. Also, Forchion will attempt to get the jury to acquit him through nullification. That is, although jurors may believe a defendant is guilty, they acquit him anyway due to other circumstances.

He said his courtroom pitch will appeal to “common sense.”

“The law they’re prosecuting me under is unconstitutional,” he said. “The (federal law) classifies pot as a Schedule I drug, which means it has no ‘accepted’ medical value. On the other hand, the state of New Jersey has approved the use of medical marijuana. So, which is it?”

Hmm.

“Like I said,” said the Weedman, “all I need is one juror to agree with me. Just one.”

James Higdon’s “The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History”

press release

April 16, 2012, 3:57 p.m. EDT

James Higdon’s “The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History” Available This Week

NEW YORK, NY, Apr 16, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — ATTENTION JOURNALISTS AND PRODUCERS: 4/20 — “The Pot Holiday” — is this week! James Higdon is the perfect choice for any conversation about marijuana legalization. Call now to schedule an interview.

In the summer of 1987, Johnny Boone set out to grow and harvest one of the greatest outdoor marijuana crops in modern times. In doing so, he set into motion a series of events that defined him and his associates as the largest homegrown marijuana syndicate in American history, also known as the Cornbread Mafia.

Author James Higdon — whose relationship with Johnny Boone, currently a federal fugitive, made him the first journalist subpoenaed under the Obama administration — takes readers back to the 1970s and ’80s and the clash between federal and local law enforcement and a band of Kentucky farmers with moonshine and pride in their bloodlines. By 1989 the task force assigned to take down men like Johnny Boone had arrested sixty-nine men and one woman from busts on twenty-nine farms in ten states, and seized two hundred tons of pot. Of the seventy individuals arrested, zero talked. How it all went down is a tale of Mafia-style storylines emanating from the Bluegrass State, and populated by Vietnam veterans and weed-loving characters caught up in Tarantino-level violence and heartbreaking altruism. This work of dogged investigative journalism and history is told by Higdon in action-packed, colorful and riveting detail.

“James Higdon has written a compelling, fast-moving saga about how a backwoods band of outlaws, begat by Kentucky moonshiners of the 1920s, took over the marijuana business in the Midwest and led the Feds on the biggest pot chase in American history.” –Bruce Porter, author of BLOW: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All

James Higdon has worked for the Courier-Journal in Louisville and the New York Times, contributed to The Prairie Home Companion, researched the NYPD counter-terrorism and intelligence divisions for the new CBS series NYC 22 (produced by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal), and is currently a contributing editor with PBS Frontline’s Tehran Bureau.

The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History Lyons Press – April 2012 – Cloth — 400 pages – $24.95 – ISBN-13: 978-0762778232

        
        Media Inquiries:
        Ellen Trachtenberg
        610-212-1823
        Email Contact
        
        
        


SOURCE: Globe Pequot Press

RE: Chuck Byrnes from HempRock Radio “Burnman”…

 

 

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High Everyone. We’re sad to say our friend and fellow activist, Chuck ‘the Burnman’ Byrnes from HempRock Radio and TV, is loosing his battle with cancer!

I know he’d love to hear from you all so we’re asking those of you who can’t visit him or reach him by phone, to please leave a message for him on the HempRock Hempline. I will be collecting them over the next few days and will burn them all on a CD for him to listen to. You can leave up to a 3 minute message.

Thanx from me and Burnman!

HempRock Hempline 513-68-4-HEMP (4367)

RE: Chuck Byrnes from HempRock Radio “Burnman”…

 

 

image

 

 

High Everyone. We’re sad to say our friend and fellow activist, Chuck ‘the Burnman’ Byrnes from HempRock Radio and TV, is loosing his battle with cancer!

I know he’d love to hear from you all so we’re asking those of you who can’t visit him or reach him by phone, to please leave a message for him on the HempRock Hempline. I will be collecting them over the next few days and will burn them all on a CD for him to listen to. You can leave up to a 3 minute message.

Thanx from me and Burnman!

HempRock Hempline 513-68-4-HEMP (4367)

San Francisco Supervisors, Oaksterdam official speak

San Francisco Supervisors, Oaksterdam official speak at medical marijuana rally at City Hall

By: Bay City News | 04/03/12 4:55 PM

An enthusiastic crowd of more than 200 medical marijuana patients and supporters rallied at San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday to hear six city supervisors and an Oaksterdam University official decry a recent federal crackdown on cannabis dispensaries.

The midday protest was planned five weeks ago, according to Americans for Safe Access Executive Director Steph Sherer, but coincidentally came the day after Monday’s federal searches of Oaksterdam University, a cannabis industry trade school in Oakland.

Oaksterdam Executive Chancellor Dale Jones, speaking from the steps of City Hall, evoked both the raids and the unrelated mass shooting that also occurred in Oakland on Monday and resulted in the deaths of seven people at Oikos University.

“Two universities were struck yesterday,” said Jones, who said police resources should be used to prevent violence and not to stop patients from obtaining medical marijuana.

“Why are law enforcement officers guarding a plant that hasn’t killed a person in human history?” she asked.

Jones told the crowd, “This raid was meant to demoralize us, but it did not cripple us, it merely galvanized us.”

Federal agents searched Oaksterdam’s headquarters and four other Oakland sites associated with Oaksterdam President Richard Lee on Monday. The school teaches courses on marijuana horticulture and dispensary management.

Joshua Eaton, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, said he could not comment on possible next steps in the investigation or on when the search warrants used in the raids will be unsealed.

Tuesday’s San Francisco rally was aimed at protesting a crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries announced in October by the four regional U.S. attorneys in California, including Haag, who is the chief federal prosecutor for Northern California.

The prosecutors said they planned to target large-scale commercial enterprises that operate under the guise of providing medical marijuana. Haag said her office would begin by concentrating on dispensaries near schools and parks.

California’s Compassionate Use Act, approved by state voters in 1996, allows seriously ill patients to use marijuana with a doctor’s permission, but federal laws criminalizing the drug make no exception for state medical marijuana laws.

Eaton said Haag had no comment onTuesday’s protest.

Six supervisors — a majority of the 11-member Board of Supervisors — told the crowd they opposed the crackdown, as audience members cheered and waved signs saying “Cannabis is medicine, let states regulate.”

They were Board President David Chiu and Supervisors John Avalos, David Campos, Jane Kim, Christina Olague and Scott Wiener.

“What people are asking for is something simple: they need access to their medicine,” Olague said.

“I hope that in a few short years, everyone in the United States will understand what we are fighting for,” Chiu said.

Several other legislators and officials, including San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, Marin and Sonoma, and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, did not attend the rally in person, but sent representatives with messages of support.

Charley Pappas, a patient and the former operator of the now-closed Divinity Tree Patients Wellness Cooperative in the city, said, “We’re not a profit-making criminal organization. We are supplying medicine for those who need it.”

The dispensary on Geary Street at the edge of the Tenderloin District, which was near a small public playground, was forced to shut down after Haag’s office threatened Pappas’s landlord with forfeiture of his property.

After the speeches, the crowd marched two blocks to the Federal Building, which houses Haag’s office, and chanted “Shame, shame, shame” and “We’re patients, not criminals” at the building before dispersing.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/04/san-francisco-supervisors-oaksterdam-official-speak-medical-marijuana-rally-city-hall#ixzz1r21zFQll

I-502 advocates support ‘local solution’ for dealing with marijuana prohibition

By Mike Faulk
Yakima Herald-Republic

YAKIMA, Wash. — When George Rohrbacher talks about marijuana prohibition, his biggest concern isn’t the merits of the drug, but a statistic he likes to call "the butcher’s bill."

The numbers add up to about 26 million over the last 40 years. They don’t represent the costs of enforcement, but the number of people who have been arrested for using pot.

"Even today, in the year 2012, we will arrest another 850,000 Americans for pot," said Rohrbacher, a former state lawmaker, before a crowd of about 150 people at the Capitol Theatre on Wednesday night. "This is a national disgrace with a local solution."

Rohrbacher and former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper shared the stage and statistics supporting Initiative 502, which calls for the state to regulate and sell marijuana for recreational use to adults. The measure would also impose a 25 percent excise tax.

"Marijuana is dangerous, but only if you get arrested for it," Rohrbacher said to laughter and applause from the audience.

Stamper, a spokesman for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, compared the current laws to alcohol prohibition, and the black market and associated violence that sprang up as a result.

"Marijuana prohibition causes crime," Stamper said. "It causes violence and it causes deaths."

The heart of the matter for voters should be whether the impact of enforcement of laws against marijuana matches the hypothetical consequences of legalizing its use, said Stamper, who served as Seattle police chief from 1994 to 2000.

Rohrbacher, a Klickitat County farmer who was an appointed Republican senator from the 17th District in Clark County during the late 1980s.

Under the initiative, residents 21 years and older could buy up to an ounce of dried marijuana; one pound of marijuana-infused product in solid form, such as brownies; or 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquids.

Washington state already has a voter-approved medical marijuana law that gives doctors the right to recommend — but not prescribe — marijuana for people suffering from cancer and other conditions that cause "intractable pain."

"Last year there were 1,000 deaths in the U.S. from gastric bleeding caused by aspirin," Rohrbacher said. "Do you know how many deaths in this country last year were caused by marijuana?

"Zero."

Stamper said legalization doesn’t open the doors to the public’s use of marijuana when in fact the substance is already available widely on the black market. He said it would be more difficult for minors to access marijuana if it were legalized and regulated, rather than obtained clandestinely from drug dealers.

Also on stage were Alison Holcomb, the director of Initiative 502 sponsor New Approach Washington, and local criminal defense attorney Alex Newhouse.

Holcomb said the federal government has shown that it may not always challenge states’ marijuana reform laws, such as for medicinal purposes, but it will never spearhead efforts to legalize marijuana. That’s up to the states, she said.

"This is an issue where the federal government will not take leadership," Holcomb said. "The states have to take leadership."

A recent analysis by the state Office of Financial Management estimated that I-502 could raise at least $560 million a year in new taxes. However, the analysis noted that revenues would be "adversely impacted" if federal authorities cracked down on the state, as they threatened to do when California voters were considering legalizing the drug in 2010. Marijuana is illegal under federal law.

While a number of former and current law enforcement officials have announced their support for I-502, there remain plenty of detractors from the same community, including Yakima County Sheriff Ken Irwin.

"I understand there’s a large group of people who enjoy the effects of marijuana or think it should be available for medical reasons," Irwin said in an interview prior to Wednesday night’s event. "But I oppose society opening the door further to substances that will inebriate people."

Irwin could not cite numbers, but said he believes the amount of police resources going toward enforcement of marijuana laws is already minimal. He said the biggest expenses go toward busting major operations, such as outdoor marijuana grows.

"I think the efforts are very reasonable," Irwin said.

Some backers of Democratic gubernatorial candidates Jay Inslee hope the initiative will give the former congressman a boost at the polls in November by bringing out younger liberal voters in support of the measure, although an Inslee campaign spokeswoman has said he will vote against it.

His chief Republican rival in the race, Attorney General Rob McKenna, also opposes the measure.


* Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

* Contact Mike Faulk at 509-577-7675 or mfaulk@yakimaherald.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Mike_Faulk.

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Kentucky Medical Practitioners Survey

Kentucky Medical Practitioners Survey

Reschedule Cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II

Please print your name if you believe cannabis/marijuana doesn’t meet the “no accepted medical value” requirement of a Schedule I drug

Print Name

License type

Specialty

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

Introduction to Kentucky Marijuana Party

ShereeKrider w/Gatewood Galbraith
ShereeKrider w/Gatewood Galbraith in 2010

Why I Do What I Do…

I can never remember the details. The “detail” section of my brain just does not work very well. I’ve had Major Depression, and Chronic Anxiety as well.  I also, among other things, have had a “Cerebellar Vascular Accident (CVA) which is about the same as a ruptured aneurysm/stroke in 1998.

It does not matter though, because I can remember where to find the information that I need, when I need it!

At the same time, the philosophical portion of my brain tends to work overtime. I spend most of my waking day on the internet, scanning for more and more information for which I know I may not remember the details of…

…but I will always know where to go to find that information when I need it!

I do this by scanning the internet for anything and everything from Cannabis issues, political, social, economics, healthcare and the conspiracies thereof,  and then back to the daily news and beyond.

I never had the opportunity to go to college, and I received my education in “Little’s” such as our former President Abraham Lincoln, who, incidentally, was also from Kentucky.

I read, and read and read some more and then ask “why?” or “why not?”, and then I search for more.

I believe as George Carlin did when he said that “children should be taught to question”. Question everything. Nothing should be taken for granted nor at face value.

In the 1990’s my Father and I were discussing Hemp one day and he advised me that I should seek out Gatewood Galbraith and go see him.  That, “He knew all about it”.  At that time I was busy raising kids and working and taking care of Mom and Dad on the weekends.  I did not even have a computer!

I began about 2003 searching out marijuana information on the internet.

My Dad had died in 2001 and three months prior to that had called me one day and asked me if I could find him “a little pot”. As I was then ignorant of any kind of medicinal use of Marijuana, and he had COPD and Heart Disease. My only answer to him would be, “I’d love to Dad, but I’m afraid if you tried to smoke it at this point it could kill you.” His lung capacity was near zero.

At that time we knew nothing of the “healing oil”.  So in 2003 I was browsing one day and it came to my mind to search for “medical marijuana”.

The rest is history. Once I found how to access the information nothing was gonna stop me from trying to spread the message – through as many sites as I could possibly access. It suffices to say that in the last seven years or more I have learned a lot. The whole world has learned a lot.

I have been through many changes in my life and am thankful for most of them.

My only hope is that the Earth has a chance to recover itself before it is too late.

Much of that depends upon how we choose to “FREE” this God given gift of Cannabis, and what is done with it once it is.

I have seen so many abuses against humanity in general that I cannot ignore it.  So therefore, I not only am an activist for anti-prohibition, but I have very strong feelings concerning other issues as well.

Mountain Top removal, strip mining, coal ash and the illness and death as a result of it.  Human trafficking and the death penalty issue, prisoners rights and issues, including the “DRUG WAR” Prisoners as well.  Then there are Civil Rights, Human Rights, the Bill of Rights, Constitutional Rights, Religious Rights and the list could go on forever.

I never thought that I would be qualified to be a politician, nor a lawyer,  nor did  I ever think that I would want to be, mainly because I do not want to be put into a position where I can no longer say what I feel is right, but must succumb to the “for the greater good of the people” clause which they use in order to be able to lie to us with a straight face.

And since there are so many differing opinions within any given movement of Activists, I feel it is necessary to have citizen reporters and/or journalists.  That is where I felt that I would fit in, as I could bring the news of all of the important issues which affect our lives straight to the web.  I have an occasional opinions on a given subject, but basically I want to give you the information that you need in order to make up your own minds about what you think is right.

After all, It’s not about what I as a single being wish to have happen.  It is about a Democracy which believes in the right of the people to decide for themselves who they want in office and how these laws are carried out.  In the end, it is only YOU that can help save our Earth and bring it to peace by petition, voting rights, etc.,  After all, as Gatewood once said:  There are only two ways to win a war.  One is politically and the other to take it to the streets.  I damn sure hope the streets isn’t where we end up.

Peace and Prayer to You All!
Sheree Krider