No Freedom of Speech for NJWeedman 

No Freedom of Speech for NJWeedman 
Posted by CN Staff on August 20, 2002 at 11:14:45 PT
By Preston Peet for
Political candidate and outspoken marijuana legalization proponent Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion is under arrest again in New Jersey. He was picked up by police at his weekly parole meeting and booked into the Burlington County Jail sometime between 3 and 11 PM on Monday, August 19, 2002. Apparently the arrest was for violating his parole agreements by filming a series of pro-marijuana and First Amendment commercials. Under the terms of his parole, Forchion is not allowed to publicly discuss marijuana in any way.
Ironically, the commercials, which had been slated to run in four counties in New Jersey on the Comcast Cable Company, were barred by Comcast management before they aired. At this time details about his charges are still a bit sketchy, as the Burlington County jail refuses to divulge any information about the case other than that he is in the jail, alleging that they are not allowed to "release any information to civilians.” (The Burlington Co. jail later amended this statement, telling that we were entitled to have this information, but only from the warden, who has not returned repeated calls.)Forchion has a long history of fighting for the right to use marijuana, and of paying the consequences for battling prohibition. He’d had a couple of minor brushes with the law over petty offenses in his early years (but compared to many of the corporate crooks still sitting pretty without seeing the inside of a jail cell, he’s an angle of propriety). In November of 1997, having built up a thriving marijuana smuggling business while working as a truck driver driving his own rig, he was arrested in a sting operation as he and his brother were trying to pick up a FedEx package containing 40 pounds of marijuana. This lead to both brothers, along with a third friend, being the first people tried in New Jersey under the then-new Omnibus Crime Act, which allows for anyone convicted of trafficking over 20 pounds of pot, even their first offence, to do 20 years in prison. While awaiting trial, Forchion undertook a campaign to bring marijuana reform into the public consciousness, as well as the right to Jury Nullification (which is illegal in New Jersey) running unsuccessfully for office in the US congress and for the office of Burlington County Freeholder, as the sole member of the Legalize Marijuana Party. Forchion also undertook civil disobedience, lighting up joints in the New Jersey State Assembly and at the Liberty Bell, among a dozen or so very public places. Two years, 15 hearings, and three judges later, Forchion accepted a plea bargain of 6 months in jail and 27 months in New Jersey’s Intensive Supervised Parole program, after refusing to rat out his marijuana connections. Reporting to the Riverfront Prison in Camden, NJ, on Jan. 12, 2001, (where prison guards immediately found 10 joints secreted within the sole of his sneaker), Forchion was informed he was not yet eligible for ISP, due to his “extensive” criminal history. He did 15 months inside before finally getting released on April 3, 2002 into ISP. He almost immediately filed an appeal of his sentence, which if he looses he faces up to 20 years in prison.“I'm still fighting this conviction,” Forchion wrote in an email. “My parole officer (Tom Bartlett) also ordered me not to talk to the press. Which I regarded as a illegal order. Because I knew such a order not to talk to the press was illegal I gave a few interviews anyway. On May 27th, I stood outside the Burlington County Courthouse and protested my not being able to see my daughter because of the Religion [Rastafari] I have chosen. I passed out fliers and was interviewed by the Burlington County Times and the Trentonian.” On the following day he was placed under house arrest, then was arrested on June 6 and sat in jail for four days for speaking to the newspapers.“I was livid,” writes Forchion, “this was totally un-American. So I contacted Peter Christopher of (Activist video) and asked him if he could help me by making a couple of First Amendment commercials for me. He did, we made three. I went to Comcast here in Mt Laurel, NJ, and presented them. They (Comcast NJ) accepted them, had me sign a contract and I gave them a deposit. The office manager actually liked them.”“In our standard advertising contract, there is a paragraph that prohibits habit forming drugs and illegal products from appearing in advertising spots. so it is a cut and dried situation for the company,” said David Shane, Comcast's vice-president of corporate communications. “The spots clearly violate the agreement that he signed, so as a result we returned his $100 deposit, and the company is not running the spots.” When it was noted that Comcast take money from, and airs commercials by both the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s National Anti-Drug Media Campaign, and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Shane said, “They don’t promote the use of habit forming drugs or drug paraphernalia. Let me read you the contract, the clause in the contract. ‘The following material is explicitly prohibited. Drugs/illegal products, including habit forming drugs, drug paraphernalia, or establishments that promote these products. Also included is advertising for a product of service which is illegal or has no legitimate use in the country, state, or municipality where systems franchise area are located. So it’s pretty clear these spots violate that portion of the contract.” Although it is clear that marijuana has many different legitimate uses despite the US prohibitionist rhetoric and laws to the contrary, and may or may not be habit forming for some people, Shane stuck to his guns, but did not mention whether or not pharmaceutical companies which market habit forming drugs on Comcast have to abide by this same agreement. He did note that “Anybody who advertises on Comcast signs this standard advertising contract. Again, anything promoting the use of habit forming drugs or drug paraphernalia are prohibited on Comcast.” “I’m so fucking mad I could spit,” Peter Christopher told when contacted about Comcast‘s decision and Forchion’s subsequent arrest. “We’re trying to get activists to do stuff like this. Sponsor some public access, shoot their own video. It took about 4 hours one afternoon at Ed’s house. I’m almost embarrassed to tell you how quickly I edited them. We wrote them for 30 seconds slots, timed them, and tried them. Actually the commercials were written and edited by a friend of mine. We’re trying to influence people to come out and work with us. I think they will.” Christopher points out how the system has really gone after Forchion, because he represents the counter-culture, he is very loud about his beliefs, and is not afraid of the repercussions that have resulted for standing up for what he believes is right. “These things go unchallenged every day,” says Christopher. “Guys get tossed around, nobody does anything about it. Why? I think a lot of it is fear. I’m going to tell you this, and you think about it. It may have never occurred to you. The problem is the system has turned too many people. Four out of five people tell them everything they want to know. How can you go from that situation to being an activist? How can you look other people in the face and help them change the laws when you’ve told on them? Eighty percent of the people arrested tell all. Those are the statistics, they don’t lie.” But Forchion himself refused to roll over and tell all.On Monday night, Forchion reported for his weekly parole meeting. At the end, everyone was told they could go except Forchion, according to Christopher, who spoke at length with Forchion later that night. Forchion was taken into custody, during which his new commercials were mentioned as the reason his parole was being violated, then taken to the Burlington County jail where he now sits.Forchion does not yet have a lawyer assisting him. He is also seeking help in obtaining enough money to run the commercials in any venue he can get them on. “The War on Drugs is being fought by two sides, the Government side and the winning side,” Forchion points out. “Apparently Comcast only wants the government side’s opinions expressed. This is absolute censorship. Yes, I had a shirt on with a "weed-leaf". Comcast airs far worst! They aired my campaign commercials three years ago and in those I had a bong and a fake weed leaves hanging out my suit jacket pocket. It wasn't the shirt, it was the words they didn't like. I was questioning the War on Drugs and what it is doing to the principals of freedom this country was founded on. This is an example." For more information about Ed "NJWeedman" Forchion at -- Title: No Freedom of Speech for Ed "NJWeedman" ForchionSource: DrugWar (US Web) Author: Preston Peet for Drugwar.comPublished: August 20, 2002Copyright: 2002 Kalyx com Contact: ptpeet Website: DL: Articles & Web Site:NJWeedman.com On The Air: Weedman Takes Cause To Television and The Bandit'Weedman' Protests Outside Courthouse 
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Comment #11 posted by Industrial Strength on August 20, 2002 at 22:45:05 PT
It makes sense
and that has been part of my posistion all along. I'm not the one who keeps making an issue of it or attacks people for it. Anyway.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on August 20, 2002 at 22:41:05 PT
Industrial Strength
We don't all believe the same and that's ok. Even when you are married and love your spouse dearly you don't agree on everything. Life is a give and take situation and it applies to all we do I believe. Hope this makes sense.
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Comment #9 posted by Industrial Strength on August 20, 2002 at 22:37:15 PT
I was talking to Nuevo Mexican. It's getting tiresome stating my opinion. I don't get why people feel as if the walls need to be torn down, not just redecorated. 
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Comment #8 posted by The GCW on August 20, 2002 at 16:06:24 PT
Biblically, through the Holy Spirit of Truth.
It seems too easy to see.Biblically, when You see a problem, You may take a look back at the root of the problem. We all know there are some problems, here.For Us who understand cannabis, and are persecuted for accepting it, We see a perspective that is rarely available that We further apply to many other facets.This whole problem, ends, when We realize the root of the problem is directly associated with disobeying the very 1st page of the Bible.If True Christians and many other spiritual people would simple stand up and stop the evil process of brainwashing humans into accepting the concept of caging a human for using a plant, things would be much much different.In a sentence: Apply all laws to reflect the teachings of Jesus Christ.It has never been done before. IT IS TIME. If You disagree, look at and study the mindset of the people that disagreed with Jesus Christ. They were cops and empire whores of their day.  Who here wants to live with out love? That comes with out Christ.
If You can not convince the population to allow caging humans for using a plant... it becomes harder to trick them in other ways...Realize, it is no accident that We are told on the very 1st page of the Bible, ALL THE GREEN IS GOOD!!!!&! it is like, what ever happened before, nesessitated writting that all the plants are good, in order to help eliminate the problems of yore.AGIAN: Pot and prophecy a look at some of the implications of how cannabis CAN and maybe WILL, save the world.The laws of Jesus would be love centered.Right now the empire that controls the laws, hates Us.Believe Me when I tell You, We would ALL welcome, the love of Christ, even more so if We could replace the present proven evil empire, with the Truth. Who amongst Us here is afraid of Truth?
The Green Collar Worker.And cops. I don't think they could do enough to change the way I think of them.They are an example of what happens when You make a man choose the laws of man over that of Christ God.With Christ God, and the ability to KNOW Truth, nobody would cage anyone for using a plant...It literally becomes the litmus test, for even and especially Christians.And if I can see it, realize, Our Father can see it.Since 911, I have had words with at least 3 Christians about "do not kill", and although perhaps(?) most get it, these 3 did not. Imagine arguing with a Christian that it is wrong to kill.BDaaaaaa.Show Me a fellow Christian who thinks it is ok to kill and I'll show YOu a Christian, unable to receive the promised Holy Spirit of Truth. Pun intended, THEY DON'T GET IT!Just like the cops who by oath just give it away.The prohibition against cannabis is the original living sin.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on August 20, 2002 at 16:00:20 PT
Industrial Strength
Who are you talking too? 
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Comment #6 posted by Industrial Strength on August 20, 2002 at 15:56:27 PT
well well well
Again, I must answer with please read the posts.
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Comment #5 posted by Dan B on August 20, 2002 at 15:45:41 PT
Civilians Rule
At this time details about his charges are still a bit sketchy, as the Burlington County jail refuses to divulge any information about the case other than that he is in the jail, alleging that they are not allowed to "release any information to civilians.” Actually, such information is the property of us "civilians," and to keep it from us is tantamount to treason. We are entitled to know what our elected representatives and the employees we pay with our taxes are up to. The warden is not the keeper of public information; the public is. This kind of power play is bullshit. Pardon my language.Dan B
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on August 20, 2002 at 15:35:04 PT
Sense the end of the line?
Pot and prophecy our modern world of global warming, ozone holes and nuclear weapons, one doesn't have to be a religious fanatic to be worried about the "end of the world," or at least the end of humankind. In fact, many non-religious scientists point to signs from their own gods of reason and data, which indicate that such global catastrophes are close at hand, if not already taking place.In many religions, notably Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, there are prophecies of the "end of the world," or at least an end of history. American Babylon
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on August 20, 2002 at 15:33:58 PT
Nuevo Mexican 
I agree with The GCW. This is a paper I must snip so by your posting the link it makes it easier on me and everyone should read it.
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on August 20, 2002 at 15:30:27 PT
Nuevo Mexican / update...
Raid went to 'hell in a handbasket'
Officers say Kmart bust was flubbed thank You for bringing this to Our attention.The Canadian letter, is striking. I am glad You brought it to Our attention. That is what I think the intleligent citizen on earth, would be thinking.It makes Me realize there are only 2 ways to fix what the empire is doing. And then of the 2, I'm only capable of 1.Pray. Pray for You to know the Truth, because in the end this show is not being won by the bush empire of evil. It WILL BE WON SPIRITUALLY.
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Comment #1 posted by Nuevo Mexican on August 20, 2002 at 14:30:53 PT
Yup, this is Amerikkka , come on down Canucks!
This disgusts me, as everything about this country does these days, like escalating the genocide in Iraq, jailing cannabis users, lettings corporate criminals off the hook after stealing billions from the American people. So read this Indy, and tell me how great Amerikkka is (I know, you've changed your mind):Raid on Kmart lot leaves shock, anger Teenagers, 
parents question arrests of 425 outside store maybe you agree with this canadian, as I do, though not all Americans are guilty of his accusations, most do seem to be. Clueless, unconcerned, propaganda eating, Foxnews brainwashed masses. Maybe we are sitting ducks, and everyday shrub justifies the worlds disgust with our tolerance of evil morons, we become bigger sitting ducks. Better speak now or forever hold your peace!Cannabis newsers are the exception to the rule!
'CANADIAN SOCKS IT TO AMERICA, AN OPEN LETTER' 'ouch!' and Democracy (english) 
Raff Ellis The United States, in fact, is so good at conducting terrorism that we have a school to teach others how to do it--then we arm them to abet the crimes they engage in. Many nations on our current terrorist list were once client states of the School of the Americas and bonanza markets for U.S. arms merchants. More to the point, Israel calls itself a democracy. But does a democracy destroy not only suspected militants, but also the families and homes of all their relatives? Does a democracy exact punishment without judicial proceedings? When a state violates its own, heralded democratic principles and summarily convicts and executes a suspect on the spot, is that a legitimate action? The short answer is: no, it's terrorism.
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