MEDIA ALERT: Medical Marijuana Patient John Wilson Faces Bail Hearing Thursday, September 29, 2011
WHO: Multiple sclerosis (MS) Patient John Ray Wilson
WHAT: Faces bail hearing
WHEN: 1:30 PM, Thursday, September 29, 2011
WHERE: Somerset County Courthouse – Somerville, NJ—with Judge Marino
WHY: Pending appeal to New Jersey Supreme Court
Multiple sclerosis (MS) patient and medical marijuana user John Ray Wilson will appear in the Somerset County Courthouse before Judge Marino for a bail hearing tomorrow, Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 1:30 PM. Wilson is currently imprisoned at CRAF, the Central Reception and Assignment Facility for the New Jersey State Prison system, located in Trenton, NJ. Wilson had been free on bond pending an appeal of his conviction and sentence of five years, but an Appellate Court upheld his conviction of “manufacturing” marijuana in late July. He was incarcerated on August 24, 2011. Attorney William Buckman has filed a petition to the State Supreme Court. The bail hearing tomorrow will determine if Wilson can remain with his family as the Supreme Court appeal is considered. Mr. Buckman’s office reports that the State intends to vigorously oppose the release of Wilson.
“New Jersey already has some of the most draconian laws in the nation with respect to marijuana, costing taxpayers outrageous sums to incarcerate nonviolent, otherwise responsible individuals-- as well as in this case -- the sick and infirm,” said Buckman. “As it stands, the case now allows a person who grows marijuana to be exposed to up to 20 years in jail, even if that marijuana is strictly for his or her own medical use. No fair reading of the law would ever sanction this result.”
Wilson’s conviction in January 2010 came just as New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act passed into law. The state now recognizes MS as a qualifying condition for marijuana therapy; however, the state’s Medicinal Marijuana Program is not operational yet.
Depending on the outcome of the hearing, Wilson may be freed pending his appeal or must continue serving his sentence. Wilson’s father, Ray, reports that John is scheduled to be transferred from CRAF to maximum security Northern State Prison in Newark, NJ to serve the rest of his sentence.