UPDATE: I received an updated version of this article from Ed. He was sentenced to nine months of jail for probation violations. He is temporarily out of jail so he can get his cancer treatments, however will need to return to jail soon.
Friends of Ed (including this author) have started a website to raise some money for Ed. See http://helpnjweedman.com and consider giving a donation.
The National Libertarian Examiner has a story today on Edward Forchion. He has a hearing on Tuesday. It is still unknown whether or not he can make it to our convention as planned. If he is unable to attend I will try to get him to briefly address the attendees via speakerphone. We have received a letter from him from the Burlington County jail last week. Below is part of what he sent us. Hopefully we will be able to hear of his ordeal on Saturday.
In July of 1997 Governor Whitman signed into law a new Omnibus Crime Bill that revamped all of the criminal laws 2C:35-10. The criminal marijuana laws (N.J.S.2C:43-3(1)) described marijuana as a schedule 1 drug - "having no medical value". On 1/18/2010 New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine signed into law the NJ Compassionate Use Act C.24:6I-2. The law, in part, reads:
The Legislature finds and declares that: (a) Modern medical research has discovered a beneficial use for marijuana in treating or alleviating the pain or other symptoms associated with certain debilitating medical conditions……(c) Although federal law currently prohibits the use of marijuana, the laws of 14 states permit the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and in Arizona doctors are permitted to prescribe marijuana. New Jersey joins this effort for the health and welfare of its citizens; ………(e) The purpose of the NJ Compassionate Use Act to protect from arrest, prosecution, property forfeiture, and criminal and other penalties, those patients who use marijuana to alleviate suffering from debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians, primary caregivers, and those who are authorized to produce marijuana for medical purposes.
Please think about this - NJ now has two laws saying different things. One law the most current a medical law C.24:6I-2 recognizes marijuana's medical use. To me: wouldn't that render the older 2C:35-10 law that doesn't recognize medical use as outdated, obsolete, flawed at the very least, and outright unconstitutional at best? Shouldn't the state's Title 2C:35-10 marijuana laws be VOIDED for VAGUENESS, and nullified in violation of due process? How is it the state gets to prosecute citizens like myself under 2C:35-10 criminal statutes that falsely, in direct contrast to more recent law, that statutorily classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 drug having “no medical value”. Then simultaneously allowing, under the NJ Compassionate Use Act C.24:6I-2, other citizens to grow, distribute, and use it as a medicine? Equal protection, Due Process?
I agree with the letter published Jan. 26, “Gun laws won’t work, just like drug laws don’t.”
If President Obama and others really want to reduce gun violence, they should focus on what government already controls: itself. Virtually all private, law-abiding gun owners in this country are peaceful, nonviolent people.
On the other hand, the government routinely kills people in this country and around the world. Thousands of innocent civilians worldwide have been killed by American drones and what Obama euphemistically calls “kinetic military action.”
Letter writer Gary Stewart of Riverdale is on target in saying the government is trying to turn our country into a bunch of timid, fearful people who will "rat out" anyone who might be a security risk based on their appearance: Sounds an awful lot like profiling to me!
The government and its media allies will seize on anything to get the American "sheeple" to give up their liberties. Mr. Stewart asks, "Am I the only who feels this?"
As expected the media, the politicians, the simple-minded Hollywood celebrities, and countless others have all jumped on the anti-gun bandwagon in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.
When a school shooting happens, they no doubt see another golden opportunity to demand that the American people part company with their Second Amendment liberties! Suppose those school children had been on a bus going on a class field trip and the bus was involved in a horrific highway accident, would the media, President Obama, Mayor Bloomberg, Senators Lautenberg, Feinstein and Schumer all be carrying on as they have been for the past week? I think not! Those innocent children would still be dead and their families grieving, but to the anti-gun crowd their deaths wouldn't be that tragic since it was a highway accident and no guns were involved!
It is truly amazing how ignorant most people are of basic economics. A case in point would be the outrage over increased gas prices in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Price gouging by service stations was the battle cry of politicians and journalists who foster the economic ignorance of the general population.
What is called price gouging is in fact a basic market mechanism to limit demand in times of shortage. If gas stations had kept their prices at pre-Sandy levels, there would have been even more of a mob scene at the pumps than there was. By allowing prices to rise, the marketplace limits demand and ensures a continued supply. Isn’t it better to temporarily pay more for something and know it will be there or be "protected" by government price controls than either run out or have it rationed by some bureaucrat?
After hearing about the recent heroin overdose of Stephanie Bongiovi, the 19-year-old daughter of entertainer and philanthropist Jon Bon Jovi, I was relieved to learn the young lady received medical attention quickly enough to avoid death or permanent injury.
However, I was saddened to learn that police in the upstate New York town where she was attending college attempted to pursue criminal charges against her for drug possession, in relation to the incident.
Government spending and government meddling in our economic and personal lives is now and continues to be at an all-time high. If you wish to support a pro-freedom agenda (as I do), I would suggest voting as follows.
For president, I support former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party candidate. For U.S. senator from New Jersey I support my fellow Libertarian Party member Ken Kaplan. For Congress I'm voting to re-elect Scott Garrett. Although he is a Republican candidate, he comes the closest to have a constitutionalist pro-freedom voting record.
Originally it was my intent to write or call Jason Okin of and ask him why he is so upset with my letter regarding the history of Camp Midvale Weis Ecology Center. The local phonebook showed no listing for a Jason Okin in Ringwood so I will respond via your letters to the editor section.
He doesn’t like the "tone" of my letter. Why is it that whenever a person takes a principled stand on behalf of individual liberty they are attacked with the smear word of "hate?"