The state’s best-known marijuana activist is back in jail, serving the first 20 days of a staggered term stemming from a three-year-old drug possession charge.
Ed Forchion, known as the “N.J. Weedman,” reported to Burlington County Jail on Friday to serve a 270-day sentence after being found guilty of marijuana possession following a 2010 arrest.
“I’m a marijuana patient and I should be protected under the Compassionate Use Act,” Forchion said on Friday, referring to the state’s medical marijuana law. “That’s the irony: The judge is preventing me from getting my treatment.”
Forchio, who is also running for election to the Burlington County freeholder board, had hoped the sentence would be delayed until after his appeal of his conviction is heard. A Superior Court judge last week denied his request to delay the sentence and the state Supreme Court will rule on the matter on Oct. 1.
“We’re waiting on what they’re going to do,” Forchion’s attorney John Vincent Saykanic said today. “If he wins on these issues, then he’ll have done the (jail) time for nothing. The rest of this becomes a moot issue. There’s nothing else except the jail issue.”
In 2010 Forchion was charged with possession and distribution of marijuana after a motor vehicle stop in Mt Holly. A jury acquitted him of the distribution charge but convicted him of possession.
The day he was convicted, Forchion failed to report to the probation office — mistakenly assuming he could wait until an appeal was filed — and was later arrested for violating probation attached to the conviction.
Saykanic said Forchion will serve a staggered sentence broken up by periods when he will be released so he can receive treatment for giant cell tumors, cancerous growths in his knees and shoulders.
Forchion has said that marijuana helps ease the pain associated with the growths.
“People don’t leave their Tylenol home,” Forchion said. “Why should they leave their marijuana home?”
LISTEN TO NJWEEDMAN LAST INTERVEIW BEFORE OFF TO JAIL
NJweedman segment starts @1:41.00 .