THE LEGALIZE MARIJUANA PARTY of SOUTH JERSEY

Founder ROBERT EDWARD FORCHION, JR – aka- “NJWEEDMAN”

P.O. Box-1302 BLVD

BROWNS MILLS, N.J. 08015

 

3/10/2003

 

 

 

 

THE LEGALIZE MARIJUANA PARTY  :           CIVIL ACTION

ROBERT EDWARD FORCHION, JR   :

Founder (LMP)                             :  COMPLAINT No: 03-cv-1105

                               (Plaintiff’s)  :

                                                : CENSORSHIP of Political Issue

                VS                             : BREACH of CONTRACT

                                                : SLANDEROUS LIBEL

COMCAST CORPORATION              :

Brian L. Roberts                          :
Chief Executive Officer and           :

President Comcast Corporation      :

                                                :

(Defendant(s))      :

                                                :

 

 

     Jurisdiction is rightfully incurred in the Federal realm for the 2002 election was a nation-wide Federal Election,  Federal “public access regulations” may apply, the Right to “POLITICAL EXPRESSION” is protected under the U.S. 1st Amendment. As well as parties reside in different states. For these reasons plaintiff(s) has presented this complaint to the Federal District Court of New Jersey in the City of CAMDEN.

 

Plaintiff(s) address: P.O. Box-1302., Browns Mills N.J. 08015

Defendant(s) address: 1500 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

 

 

 

FACTS

 

On or about July 9th, 2002 Plaintiff ROBERT EDWARD FORCHION, Jr on behalf of plaintiff The LEGALIZE MARIJUANA PARTY of South Jersey,  approached COMCAST CORPORATION’S Mount Laurel New Jersey sales office to inquire about airing (PSA) public service announcements heretherafter referred to as “POLITICAL ISSUE AD’S” during the 2002 election campaign season (Sept-Nov.). As Plaintiff had previously done in 1999 and 2000.

 

Comcast sales agent Ruth Saulino provided plaintiff(s) with requirements and procedures about getting ad’s aired according to COMCAST requirements and a tentative contract was drawn up. [Exhibit 1] Plaintiff ROBERT EDWARD FORCHION Jr. then secured a contract with independent film company, NEXTPLAY VIDEO of Warren New Jersey to produce these “POLITICAL ISSUE AD’s” featuring himself and presented them to COMCAST CORPORATION for airing on the COMCAST system in four South Jersey counties. During the last week of July 2002 the manager and sales personnel of COMCAST Mt. Laurel viewed the ad’s and approved them, actually voicing  personal approval of ad’s, and  suggesting that the ad’s make their debut on August 17th during the CNN network’s special 9-11 themed feature called “AMERICA REMEMBERS” for maximum exposure.

 

On August 08 Plaintiff and Defendant entered into a contract to air “POLITICAL ISSUE AD’S”, AUGUST 08, 2002 all was well. [Exhibit 2] On August 15th, 2002 a local newspaper THE TRENTONIAN wrote about the impending telecast of the “POLITICAL AD’S” [Exhibit 3], that very evening plaintiff received a telephone message from COMCAST sales agent RUTH SAULINO to come into the Mt Laurel office of Comcast the next morning. On August 16th 2002 plaintiff was informed by COMCAST personnel that COMCAST  Corporation’s legal department in Philadelphia had CENSORED the ad’s and BREACHED THE CONTRACT by having the ad’s “yanked”  and Plaintiff would have to get a formal explanation from COMCAST LEGAL DEPARTMENT why such “censorship” was occurring. But before plaintiff could secure an explanation from COMCAST’S LEGAL department Plaintiff was arrested by tyrannical state officials for attempting to air these ads. The explanation given to reporters by COMCAST LEGAL DEPARTMENT was: “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. 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.” There was no reason given why Plaintiff’s previous ads were allowed and not these.

 

(1). - No drugs appear in the ad’s; it was absolutely LIBELOUS for COMCAST to publicly claim it was so. There was no violation of this company rule. Although there is the image/LOGO of marijuana leaf on plaintiff’s t-shirt it is not “marijuana”.  This LOGO is the “PARTY LOGO” of the (LMP) just as the images/logos of an “Elephant” and “Donkey” represent the REPUBLICAN and DEMOCRATIC PARTIES the “MARIJUANA LEAF LOGO” represents the PLAINTIFF – THE LEGALIZE MARIJUANA PARTY. COMCAST was previously made aware of this in 1999 and 2000 when plaintiff wore the exact same “POLITICAL PARTY t-shirt” in similar “POLITICAL AD’S” that run during those election campaigns. Comcast initially balked at Plaintiff’s 1999 ads then as well but once it was realized these were “POLITICAL AD’S”, protected by election laws and equal access regulations COMCAST CORPORATION  allowed them to air. No such discussion occurred in 2000 they aired without argument. (This time COMCAST denied airing and assisted in getting plaintiff Robert Forchion imprisoned) (2) - Marijuana is not a habit forming drug. Factually marijuana doesn’t meet the scientific requirements to be called an addictive or habit forming drug. (3) - Marijuana is legal for religious purposes according to the 1993 FREEDOM OF RELIGION and RESTORATION ACT (42 U.S.C.A. § 2000bb (a)) as well as: UNITED STATES Vs BAUER, 84 F.3d 1549, 1556 (9th Cir.1996), PEOPLE OF GUAM Vs GUERRERO, Docket no. 00-71247 9th Circuit decided May 28th, 2002. Because it is “LEGAL” per the (FRRA) it therefore is not in violation of this  company regulation. (4) - Nothing in these ads promotes the USE of marijuana, these ad’s clearly only advocate for a change in the law that makes it “illegal” in most instances, and discusses free speech. It was SLANDEROUS and LIBEOUS for COMCAST to publicly announce that these ad’s promoted “DRUG USE”. Mike Rameriez and Tom Bartlett  New Jersey state officials without first viewing these ad’s themselves took the public false COMCAST statements that they promoted “USE” of marijuana as true; and had PLAINTIFF jailed. COMCASTS statements  harmed Plaintiff. "He agreed he was not going to promote marijuana use," Bartlett said.  "We tried to get him in compliance and he has not cooperated”. (August 23rd, 2002 BURLINGTON COUNTY TIMES ARTICLE BY MIKE MATHIS TITLED “MARIJUANA ACTIVIST JAILED FOR ESOUSING LEGALIZATION OF DRUG”) [Exhibit 4]

Plaintiff ROBERT EDWARD FORCHION, jr. was “unconstitutionally” jailed on AUGUST 19th, 2002 for nearly 6 months by State of New Jersey officials for promoting drug use among other charges; all of which were later dropped or ruled to be unconstitutional.  Federal District Court Judge Irenas (rescued/released) plaintiff from incarceration on Jan 25th with a federal injunction. [Exhibit 5]. These “rogue” state officials are currently defendants in a Federal statute 1983 CIVIL RIGHTS lawsuit (02-cv-4942(JEI)).

 

It is unconcienceable and un-American that COMCAST and PLAINTIFF would enter into a contract (which COMCAST breeched), then to have COMCAST willingly assist “ROGUE STATE OFFICALS” in having plaintiff imprisoned for attempting to air same “POLITICAL ISSUE AD’S. COMCAST willingly (without a warrant) supplied copies of ad’s and contract information to these rogue state officials, by working with these state officials in attempting to have PLAINTIFF imprisoned for exercising his First Amendment Right(s) to Freedom Speech, Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Political Expression and “petitioning the government for redress of grievances”. [Exhibit 6] In speaking out against the racist “WAR ON DRUGS with these political issue ads.

 

CENSORSHIP: COMCAST CORPORATION has a recent history of engaging in censorship of political issue’s sensitive to government officials as was recently pointed out in attached Feb.13th, 2003 edition of the PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER in an article titled “PEACE OUT” [exhibit 7]. In the instant case it is obviously clear that COMCAST EXECUTIVES after learning of the airing of these “POLITICAL ISSUE AD’S” during a special feature on CNN thru THE TRENTONIAN story decided to CENSOR the ad’s.

When compared to similar ad’s run by the PLAINTIFF in 1999 and 2000 it could easily be deduced that these ads were milder than the previously aired ad’s. POLITICAL dissent is encouraged in AMERICA as a part of real democracy. COMCAST is a licensed (PUC) PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANY and POLITICAL PARTIES are given the RIGHT to air POLITICAL ISSUE AD’S as these ads clearly were. Comcast is not immune from CONSTITUTIONAL protections. Other entities are given permission to air ad’s that mimic the current government policy of “WAR” against user’s of substances banned by the (CSA) Controlled Substance Act, i.e., Partnership for a drug Free America, (ONDCP)  Office of the National Drug Control Policy , D.A.R.E., and various other semi-official organizations and individuals. Yet, because these ad’s advocate a change in this policy they are censored with rejection!

 

RIGHT TO POLITICAL EXPRESSION

 

"...where political speech is involved, our traditions insists that government allow the widest room for discussion, the narrowest range for its restriction."....."Political expression includes any fair comment on any matter of public interest, whether or not subject of an election campaign, whether or not embarrassing to local governing body, and whether or not irritating to one's neighbors.'' STATE of NEW JERSEY Vs MILLER, 83 N.J. 402, 416 A.2d 821 (1980)

 

RIGHT TO EXPRESS UNPOPULAR VEIWS

 

"...individuals, severally or in association, have a right to denounce public body, its officers, and its programs, in most searing terms, and even with wide margin of error." BOARD OF ED., BOROUGH OF UNION BEACH Vs NEW JERSEY ED. ASS'N, 53 N.J. 29, 247 A.2d 867 (1968).--- "Constitutional Right of Free Speech and assembly can-not be abridged simply because others might take offense at what is being said or advocated and create a disturbance." FACULTY AD HOC OCT 15th VIETNAM MORATORIUM COMMITTE Vs BOUGH OF GLASSBORO, 111 N.J. SUPER, 258, 268 A.2d 75 (1970) -- HURWITZ Vs BOYLE, 117 N.J. SUPER. 196, 284 A.2d 190 (1971)--.

 

The issue of “legalization of marijuana” is a legitimate political issue across the country; it is not even a new political issue. For the past 30 years since the CONGRESS outlawed “marijuana use” with the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 it has been a political issue. In 1978 Congress passed the Compassionate Use Act. In the past 10 years numerous states have passed laws to allow for the use of marijuana medically and the U.S. Congress itself passed the (FRRA) Freedom of Religion and Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C.A. § 2000bb(a)) that allows for the religious use of marijuana. There are numerous organizations dedicated to this cause of legalization; such as NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and several political parties in support of this issue; i.e. The Libertarian Party, The Green Party, The Reform Party and the Marijuana Reform Party of New York.

ARGUMENT

 

It would be absolutely wrong to allow COMCAST CORPORATION to censor political discussion on certain “POLITICAL ISSUE’S”. COMCAST CORPORATION is the largest U.S. cable company serving more than 21 million customers in 41 states serving 38 million homes. Comcast is the market leader in 8 of the top 10 U.S. markets 70% of subscribers in the top 20 U.S. markets according to COMCASTS own website. COMCAST is a virtual monopoly in most areas and for Comcast to be allowed to “CENSOR” which political issues are viewed by its customers would be disastrous to “Political” debate and discussions and affront to the principles of free speech this country was founded on. Small independent “POLITICAL PARTIES” with non-mainstream ideals and goals would have their ideals censored from the public just by COMCAST’S sheer size and monopoly. In most areas it is the only cable option possible.

I swear by penalty of perjury and imprisonment that all statements, allegations and facts in the above complaint are truthful and accurate. For the outrageous un-American conduct of COMCAST CORPORATION the following is demanded.

DEMANDS

 

The Airing of these “political ad’s

Plaintiff seeks a jury trial.

$420,000.oo in damages.

Punitive damages.

Legal fees.

 

.

 

 

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf,

 of ROBERT EDWARD FORCHION, Jr.

and THE LEGALIZE MARIJUANA PARTY

 

     _____________________________________

(LMP) founder ROBERT EDWARD FORCHION, Jr

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIS SUIT IS ABOUT THE

“BILL OF RIGHTS NOT MARIJUANA”

 

CC-Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia City Paper, Philadelphia weekly, Courier Post, Burlington County Times, The Times of Trenton,  The Trentonian and the Associated Press. As well as various media outlets.