NJWeedman seeks medical clemency from Gov. Christie
Fri Nov 8, 2013.
Longtime marijuana activist Ed "NJWeedman" Forchion has petitioned Gov. Christie for clemency in hopes that the governor can end the monthly staggered jail sentences he is now serving.
Forchion, of Pemberton Township, has filed a petition for medical clemency, hoping the governor will sign his get-out-of-jail card because, he argues, his incarceration is preventing him from necessary treatments for bone cancer in California.
His petition for relief is more subtle than his last correspondence with Gov. Christie. In 2011, Forchion said he mailed a pill bottle full of weed to the governor and other officials.
The current jail sentence, imposed in September after Forchion violated a probationary term, was fashioned to allow Forchion to serve 20 days a month in jail and 10 days out so he could travel to the West Coast for injections for the painful leg growths. Superior Court Judge Charles Delehey imposed the nine-month, or 270-day, sentence for Forchion’s 2010 conviction for fourth-degree marijuana possession.
At the time the judge said, “(Forchion) won't be denied treatments, but this court is not giving him a free pass." He noted that the defendant violated the "lenient" probation sentence that required very little of him, allowed him to use marijuana, and permitted him to be transported to California, where he is a licensed medical marijuana user.
Forchion, who was released Tuesday from his latest 20-day term, said the staggered sentence is not letting him get back to California for his injections, which are part of an experimental treatment protocol that are required on specific days. He has also not been able to schedule other tests.
“Because of the imprisonment my monthly health care has been ruined,” Forchion writes in his request to Christie. “The jailing … has prevented me from obtaining required MRI/bone scan and prevented me from raising cash for flight to California for treatment.”
He notes a missed MRI in October and has no cash to fly out this month. Forchion also argues that he is protected under The Geneva Convention, which outlaws denying health care to prisoners of war, claiming he is a “prisoner in the war on drugs.”
“I’m a patient in California and a prisoner in New Jersey,” he said.
Forchion also asked the governor to consider his request in light of the state’s medical marijuana law, which was passed at the time of his 2010 arrest but not implemented. Even under the implemented program, Forchion would have still been breaking the law with the pound of marijuana police found in the trunk of his rental car during a traffic stop in Mount Holly on April 1, 2010.
The activist is due back at Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly on Nov. 15 to serve his next 20 days. As of Friday, he hadn't raised enough cash to fly back to California for treatment or medical tests.
Forchion calls his jail term “a hypocritical injustice and flies in the face of the goals and intent” of the state’s law, as well as “national public perceptions of medical marijuana.”
The Appellate Division of the state Superior Court denied Forchion’s emergent appeal to stay the sentence until after his full appeal of his conviction could be heard and decided.
“I won’t get my freedom back or my health care corrected, if and when the appeals court rules in my favor,” Forchion said Friday.
READ CLEMENCY REQUEST HERE - http://www.njweedman.com/index.php/press-releases/250-clemency