SO LET ME TELL YOU HOW IT STARTED and HOW I'M
FREE TO TELL YOUOn April 1st 2010, I was visiting New Jersey from California, where I'd moved in 2008.
Oh, that's right, I was arrested on "April FOOLs DAY" in Mt Holly NJ
for possession of 1 pound of marijuana, with the intent to distribute. I spent four
days in the Burlington County jail. I was released on April 5th, 2010,
after posting bail for this charge, and paid a few tickets. OMG, I was angry!
I didn't feel foolish. I was instantly ready to fight these charges. I went straight
into BATTLE MODE. My thought was "this is a fucking war"! The Government types
call it a "WAR on DRUGS". Well, I'm doing battle, because I'm a person, not a drug, and
war is being waged on me. I said, "I'm not surrendering I'm fighting back, no pleas from me".
I called all the local newspapers upon release. I told them I
was going to be openly fighting the charges, using a Jury Nullification defense.
The Burlington County Times covered the case, start to finish.
I was going to challenge the criminal laws as being outdated and flawed,
based on the fact that the State of New Jersey had recognized marijuana's medical use
with the passage of the Medical Marijuana Compassionate Use Act C.24:6I-2 on
Jan 18th, 2010. I said, at the end of this case, the GOVERNMENT will
be judged the fool that day. I did a video INTERVEIW immediately and posted
it on line as STATEMENT #1 - https://vimeo.com/24099651
MY BATTLE PLAN
This wasn't the first time I'd used Jury Nullification. And I'd
openly vowed to once again use Jury
Nullification. As In my case from 1997, that went to trial in 2000.
In that case, I was caught in a conspiracy to possess and distribute 39 pounds
of marijuana. Everyone thought I was an easy conviction, but I utilized a Jury
Nullification defense, which forced a plea deal. In that case John
Wynne, the Camden County assistant Prosecutor, readily admits, "The notion that
Forchion's jury-nullification strategy could actually work-perhaps setting a
precedent for other similar cases-also played into his decision to extend the
deal."I didn't want the jury to say that the drug law was not good," says
Wynne. "There was always a chance that they would, and my attitude was, why risk that?"
So I once again vowed to use Jury Nullification.
On the third day of that trial, Sept 20th, 2000, I had accepted a plea
deal that I immediately regretted. I even tried to legally motion to withdraw
my plea. I'd regretted it ever since.
Thus, this new case
was going to give me a chance to redeem myself. This case was now going to give me the opportunity to beat the State publicly, to expose
the State and its citizens to the tactic of Jury Nullification. I wanted my
revenge, and this case was going to do it. The State wages a war on potheads;
well, I was going to fight back. I wasn't going to be a defendant I was going to
fight this with an offense. I'd asked NORML Lawyers to help me, but they
declined so I said, FUCK the pussies at NORML, (the coward's in charge), the
pansies. There is a "War" going on, and these dudes are writing letters. If it's
a war Burlington County wanted, well I was going to give it - not take it! My
defense wasn't a defense at all - it was an offense. I planned on winning this
battle big-time publicly. Fuck the Law, Fuck the lawyers. Give me the Jury. I
didn't give a fuck. I was going to continue to smoke publicly anyway. I predicted
the state will be regarded as the fool for having arrested me in the first place,
when this case ended. I wanted to shove this up victory up the States Ass,
as well as the leaders of NORML-NATIONAL's ass.
People didn't understand how a jury trial could be very good for me. Because we
aren't taught Jury Nullification, even our so called leaders of the marijuana
reform movement wouldn't take this doctrine seriously, or they did, but didn't
really want to end the war on pot either. Many who didn't understand Jury
Nullification, felt I was talking myself into prison. Some knew and understood,
but didn't think the people were ready for that argument. The lawyers didn't think that,
they understood my plan, and didn't want it implemented. In my opinion "I felt I, and people like me, are un-convictable", because we openly don't
believe the Government lies about marijuana. We aren't afraid to say it
publicly, even to the Jury. My logic at the time was, I just needed one juror to agree with me, and then say it after
deliberations. I was going to openly try to get a hung jury. Which really isn't
that usual; every defendant in the world is trying to get anything but a conviction,
to me a hung jury would be a victory.
STATEMENT # 2 - The Law is wrong not I..
UNDERSTAND THIS: "YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO ASSISTANCE"
When the Trooper read me my
Miranda Rights on April 1st 2010, saying; "anything I do and say
could be used against me". I also knew it could be used
for me, before a
Jury. In my opinion, my admitting to my use, my reasons and my disbelief in the
LIE perpetuated by the marijuana law, made me conviction proof to a fully informed jury. I wanted to present
truthfulness before my jury; I wanted my public statements to be presented to
my jury. I felt these things would make me un-convictable, if given the
opportunity to speak directly to the Jury. So I announced immediately I'd be
representing myself. This was a tactic - a way of me giving my own opening
statements to the jury - without being required to actually take the stand. (I
thought this was brilliant - why don't lawyer's assistant their clients with
tactics like this?). Many citizens don't realize that anyone can represent
themselves. Representing yourself doesn't mean you're left with no counsel!
In fact, please follow my logic, and legal reasoning. But first read the 6th amendment!
6th Amendment - "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused
shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the
State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district
shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature
and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him;
to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have
the Assistance of Counsel for his defence".
Amendment say's, "to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence." -
Now think that out the U.S. Bill of Rights, The Constitution which all of our
laws get its power and authority from says defendants have the RIGHT to have "assistance
of counsel". That's all I wanted for my case!! All I wanted was a lawyer provided
to me for my assistance on the technical aspects of the law, research
and courtroom procedure. I
demanded to represent myself. I did not want a lawyer to represent me I'm
perfectly capable of representing myself. I knew the most powerful entity and
the only entity I needed to communicate with was the Jury. I was positive I
could communicate with a jury of my peers. For that reason I didn't need a lawyer
just an assistant. Ultimately this task was assigned to assistant Burlington
County Public Defender Donald Ackermann. The Judge and the prosecution
fought this several times during this case. It's called a
hybrid representation, some Judges try to prevent it but it's legal. The 6th
amendment also says for "his defence". So taken as a
whole this clause literally means you can chose your own defense and you
have Right to a lawyer to assist you. So my choice in self representation and defense
was actually what I called a "Open
Avocation of Jury Nullification - aka- " NJweedman
Defense" & Donald Ackerman of the Burlington Co., Public
Defender's Office was ultimately assigned to provide me with the 6th
amendment mandated assistance.
That's exactly what I wanted and
I was familiar with the U.S. Supreme Court case(s) of California Vs Green and Farretta Vs
California, 422 U.S.
806 (1975) which also said - "propria persona.Id."
Snyder v. Massachusetts,291 U. S. 97
399 U. S. 149, 399 U. S. 176 (Harlan, J., concurring). Page 422 U. S. 819 The Sixth Amendment
does not provide merely that a defense shall be made for the accused; it grants
to the accused personally the right to make his defense. It is the accused, not
counsel, who must be "informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation," who must be "confronted with the witnesses against
him," and who must be accorded "compulsory process for obtaining
witnesses in his favor." Although not stated in the Amendment in so many
words, the right to self-representation -- to make one's own defense personally
-- is thus necessarily implied by the structure of the Amendment. The right to
defend Page 422 U. S. 820 is given directly to the accused; for
it is he who suffers the consequences if the defense fails.
but now a weed capitalistNJWeedman
Super-hero of the PotheadsI knew I was the 21st
century William Penn
I knew this case to me was going
to be different than the (1997 -2000) case. I was not going back unless a jury
sends me back. FUCK plea bargains. The bargain is for the state. Plea offers are
nothing but bribery by the state. It's a bribe of leniency by the state to give
up ones right to a trial. During this case I motioned the Judge to order the
state to stop attempting to bribe me out of my right to a fair trial. I figured since the last case took almost
three years to get to trial in Camden County which is a busier court than this
county, it would take less time in Burlington County I figured two years - 2012.
I was right. The trial was scheduled for April 2012 but was delayed one more
month until May 1st, 2012.
THE BATTLE BEGINS:
After two years of pre-trial
motions and proceedings I
finally rolled in town; the case finally went to trial - it began on May
1st, 2012. My plan was now being implemented. I knew that cases can be won or
lost in opening statements. Burlington County Prosecutor Michael Luciano in my opinion lost
the case in his opening statement when he called me a "Charlatan and a Wolf in sheep's clothing"
and tried to portray me as a drug dealer.
I was representing myself and I gave my own
opening statements. I thanked the Jurors for not weaseling out of jury duty
like many before at final selection. I introduced myself and I answered every "vior question" that they had to answer as part of the Jury
selection process. My logic was to remove that "DEFENDANT" label that the
prosecution tries to label marijuana defendants. I was a victim of a wrong -
flawed law and I told my Jury immediately that I did nothing wrong. The law was
wrong not I. "I'm the VICTIM".
That's where I won the case. I did nothing wrong I said. I continued that with, "I
smoked marijuana this morning and I will smoke it at lunch I know some of you
are tobacco smokers and you will be able to smoke outside the courthouse doors.
I said I smoke marijuana like you smoke cigarettes so I will have to go across
the parking lot to avoid getting easily arrested. Tonight after court I will
smoke marijuana and before bed I will eat marijuana".
Additional, I told my Jurors I had BONE CANCER
Even though the criminal statute I was being prosecuted under didn't allow for my use
of marijuana for medical reasons, I did everyday the law was wrong not I.
I compared my having a pound of
marijuana with them having a carton of cigarettes. I told them some people buy
a cup of coffee everyday others buy 5 pounds and make their own, some people go
to the store everyday and buy a pack of cigarettes. I had exhibits of these
items to point to before them. Likewise some people like me buy marijuana a
pound at a time instead of $20 bag every day. Plus I'm a cancer patient I eat
marijuana and it takes more marijuana to cook with than to smoke. This is why
I carried such a large amount. During my opening statement, I also showed them on a big poster board - New Jersey Constitution Article 1 paragraph 6 reads: "IN ALL PROSECUTIONS AND INDICTMENTS …….THE
JURY MAY BE PRESENTED THE TRUTH AS EVIDENCE ……THE JURY MAY JUDGE THE FACTS AS
WELL AS THE EVIDENCE."
The case drew
reporters from all 5 local papers. The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Courier Post,
The Philadelphia Daily News, The Burlington County Times, and The Trentonian covered
the trial. The Associated Press also put out news blurbs on the national wire.
The entire South Jersey and Philadelphia region was getting a firsthand lesson on
Jury Nullification, and the power of an informed defendant fighting for his life,
freedom and a cause. This was giving them the History lesson of William Penn,
resurrected in the 21st century. This open lesson was picked up nationally,
and has awakened a sleeping giant in this nation. From coast to coast the cry
of Jury Nullification is being heard, and many a defendant has attributed this
knowledge to my case.
The prosecution's case
wasn't very strong from the get-go, but to try to paint me as an ordinary drug
dealer didn't fly. The jury knew my story. At one point, they even asked the
Judge if they could look at my website - Ha ha! I knew they would anyway, since
that was a part of my plan. I knew I had won. I knew they'd look and read that
they didn't have to convict me. My website was a message, a lesson to my jurors.
FM 101.5 the hugely popular state
talk show covered the case and allowed me to call in and give updates, the
Judge and the Prosecutor didn't like it. The Prosecutor even tried to get the Judge
to order me not to talk to 101.5 lol - He denied it
but ordered the jurors not to listen. The next day I called in the 8am hour and
the entire 8-9am show was about my case. Im sure at
least one juror listened on their way to the trial.
I felt like a genius, and was
happy I was getting revenge for the previous trial. The Judge was pissed and
scolded me - Judge takes Forchion to task for trying
to 'scuttle the judicial process' - It didn't m,ake a difference to me.
After two weeks of a public trial
On May 10th 2012 the
Jury hung 7-5. I'd proved my point after 12 years of frustration at
accepting the bribe/plea deal I'd won with a hung jury. The prosecutor was
embarrassed and immediately demanded a re-trial. Another hearing
hearing a week later May
17th the Judge ordered a new Trial and I filed a motion
to dismiss again. The Judge scheduled a new trial for Septemeber
4th, 2012 and pre-trial hearing for August 14th, 2012 to
ruling on motion to dismiss.
At the hearing the Judge denied Motion to
VACATE. The Prosecutor then complained about the date of the new trial as JURY
RIGHTS DAY (9/5) and cried I'd been advertising it in connection to my case and Jury
the retrial was then again rescheduled for October 10th 2012. LOL!
THE BATTLE BEGINS:
TRIAL 2 BEGINS
In the four months between trial's I publicly humiliated the Burlington County Prosecution
and enlightened the entire region of Jury Nullification. I gave interviews and
the headlines where: "NJweedman seeking
potheads for jurors", and NJWeedman says he's" conviction
The famous "Weedman NJ" has little to worry
about in his upcoming trial, it would seem. He says he's "conviction proof." A
jury was finally selected before Burlington County Superior Court
Judge Charles Delehey in the case of defendant Ed Forchion, who has been on a
long quest to smack down New Jersey's laws against marijuana.
I and was openly unrepentant, defiant
and taunting the prosecution. On Oct 10th, 2012 the state once again
attempted to convict me in a
second trial and the exact same results occurred the only surprise to me
was it was a 12-0 verdict of "NOT
GUILTY". The Jury
upends the marijuana laws and lets me walk free! Over 150 newspapers across
the country wrote about it, numerous magazines, radio/Tv
stations covered it and god only knows how many bloggers talked about it.
the fight, just like Muhammad Ali won the thriller in manila but spent three
days in the hospital, and took 6 months to recover because although he'd won
his fight with Frazier he took a beating. Same with me I'd won but After two and half years of fighting the state I ended up famous and broke
IN THE END
THE STATE WAS THE FOOL FOR PROSECUTING ME