WHY I OPPOSE NEW
MEDICAL MARIJUANA BILL
My name is Edward Forchion
a former new jersey resident. Within the social parameters of the
national cannabis consuming community I am better known as New Jersey
Weedman, or “NJweedman.com”. Now I am a political exilee living in
marijuana friendly California. I fled the Garden State and the official
persecution sanctioned by state officials 2 years ago because of my
political views on marijuana.
Occupationally now, I am the proprietor of the Liberty Bell Temple (www.libertybelltemple.com),
a Religious medical marijuana collective located at 5642 Hollywood
Boulevard. I provide marijuana to about 1000 people a week. For over a
decade while in NJ (besides discreetly providing marijuana) I actively
campaigned for the legalization of marijuana in NJ, albeit picketing
with signs campaigning for various local offices, running for U.S.
Congress, U.S. Senate, the state Senate and even the office of the
Governor all under the Legalize Marijuana Party (www.tlmp.org) ticket.
Not that I thought I’d really win, it was solely to voice the opinion
that marijuana should be legal.
To say, I am pro-marijuana would be…obvious; but to say that I will
support the medicinal legalization of marijuana unequivocally would be
a lie. I oppose it. In order for me to do so, there are legislative
measures that must be in place, many of which, are currently not part
of New Jersey’s medical marijuana bill.
Still, I would like to say that I am very pleased to see that New
Jersey is beginning to recognize the medicinal value of marijuana, and
may become the fourteenth state to legalize medical marijuana. This
bill recently passed through the state Senate will continue to raise
awareness about marijuana as well as reduce negative connotations
surrounding the plant.
However, because of the nature of the bill—which I find contradictory
and unfair in too many areas—I am unable to put my full support behind
it and openly oppose it almost as much as oppose the laws that
currently make marijuana illegal. I have many grievances with the current
bill, and would like to explain my position by providing a sequential
list of “issues,” which I find to be the most troubling.
First and foremost, in order to become eligible to receive medical
marijuana in the state of New Jersey you must have an ailment, or
disease, that is effectively treated with marijuana and your ailment
must be acceptable to state officials. None of whom are doctors.
In California under proposition 215, that list is broad, ranging from
insomnia, headaches, menstrual conditions, eating disorders, to
multiple sclerosis and HIV. There is much historical scientific
evidence that proves marijuana would be effective in all of the above
cases; however, in the state of New Jersey, it was not scientists, or
physicians, who were given the job of deeming which ailments were seen
fit for medical marijuana--that decision was seized by self-righteous
politicians? Who have decided that only a select few ailments would be
covered? You’ll practically have to be dying to use marijuana under New
Jersey’s proposed bill.
If I have a headache I’d rather twist up a joint and smoke it all, than
use a Tylenol.
It is difficult for me to, as an owner of a medical marijuana facility
who sees everyday the value of medical marijuana across the whole
gamete of potential ailments, relegate its’ effectiveness into a small
category, or group of “more serious politically acceptable diseases”.
And it would be impossible for me to accept that the men and women fit
to make such a medical decision, would be state senators and State
Assemblymen/women in Trenton.
Further, there is a contradiction, here, in the medical bill, which
begs the question: if marijuana has any deeming medicinal value, as the
current bill passed through the state Senate clearly defines it does,
then how can marijuana still remain a schedule one drug? — (Schedule
one drugs are drugs the government says has no medicinal value and thus
are illegal) — And more, how can NJ citizens continue to be prosecuted
as I was in NJ for possessing marijuana, if the State has, in this
proposed legislation, recognizes it’s medical value? Along with the too
narrow a list of ailments, the new bill has no mentioning of marijuana,
in the future, as being de-classified, re-scheduled or decriminalized,
from the criminal category it is currently in, which unfairly places it
alongside opiates, barbiturates and other more heavy, fatal narcotics.
The Bill creates a hypocrisy I say to state assemblymen Reed Gusciora!
How can a drug have medicinal value, and be considered a Schedule one?
Why, if marijuana is being recognized by the state as having medicinal
value, has the State also not changed its’ position on the criminality
of marijuana, i.e. how can marijuana remain illegal and highly
punishable for most citizens with small amounts and also an accepted
medicine for a choosen few? This flies in the the face of the equal
protection clause of the U.S. Constitution and due process.
The next discrepancy I see within the bill is in the distribution of
medical marijuana—you cannot grow medical marijuana in New Jersey, even
if you are a patient with a prescription. This is absurd, the
writers/supporters of this bill are absurd for this position and for
this reason alone no-one should support this bill.
In the state of California, you can; in fact, it is encouraged that
patients take it upon themselves to become self-sustainable, as this
limits the size of a potential black market. In New Jersey, medical
marijuana is to be provided for by the state. I anticipate the quality
will be swag garbage weed that I’d never smoke.
Anyone familiar with the marijuana plant knows that there are varying
degrees of potency, particular strains that prove more effective than
others on particular ailments, and that each person’s indiviual
tolerance is unique. In order to truly provide the best medical care
for patients, marijuana has to be fastidiously grown by caring hands.
There is no indication, or evidence, that our government has ever been
fine cultivators of potent marijuana, and more, I see no reason why the
government would want to control the growing/distribution of
marijuana—by doing so, they are privatizing the drug, regulating it in
effect and making it exclusive to government, which could eventually
lead to it becoming corporatized. By taking away the patients right to
grow his/her own marijuana, the government is going against the spirit
of competition and innovation this country was founded upon.
And personally, the most egregious part of this Bill, is that any
person previously convicted of a crime “such as myself” can-not be a
provider. Most experts on marijuana have been persecuted by Government
officials with convictions. The best growers would be excluded. This
leaves the amateurs and beginners to attempt to provide quality herb
for sick people.
I ask all New Jersey citizens who wishes the state passes a medical
marijuana bill, to call your state assembly person and all NJ state
legislators to scrap this crap and pass a bill that mirrors
California’s Proposition 215, S/B 420 and CA. health & safety code
11362.5. Regardless one day I will be back and my vision is to open a
“Rastafarian Temple” in Camden that provides “ganja” – (medical
marijuana) to citizens. This will “HIGH” light a glaring Constitutional
short coming of this bill, its lack of a religious use clause.