Newsbrief: NJ Weedman to Get Day in Federal Court After Months in Jail for Thought Crime 1/3/03

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

A federal judge in Camden, NJ, has ordered the state to show why it is holding Ed Forchion, widely known as the "NJ Weedman," in prison instead of releasing him to complete his parole. Forchion was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to possessing 25 pounds of marijuana. He served more than 16 months behind bars before being paroled earlier this year. New Jersey parole officials jailed him again in August for violating his parole. His crime? Advocating the reform of the marijuana laws. The state was particularly irked that Forchion had the nerve to film several public service announcements propounding his views. Those commercials were never aired.

Forchion appeared before a three-judge Intensive Supervision Program (parole) panel in early December to seek his reinstatement as a parolee, but that panel adjourned without ruling or setting a date for a new hearing.

On Tuesday, US District Judge Joseph Irenas scheduled a January 21 hearing on Forchion's writ of habeas corpus, ordering the state of New Jersey to show cause for imprisoning him. Irenas told the court Forchion probably would not have been returned to prison had he not spoken out about the drug laws.

Forchion, who is a Rastafarian, has led a quixotic crusade to reform the marijuana laws. He has run thrice for Congress, he allegedly smoked marijuana on the floor of the state Assembly in an act of civil disobedience, and he once sought political asylum in Canada from the marijuana charges that led to his current troubles. But now, with New Jersey parole authorities throwing him in prison because of his political beliefs, he is what Amnesty International would call a "prisoner of conscience," incarcerated not for drug activity but for exercising his constitutionally protected freedom of political speech.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #270, 1/3/03 Editorial: Constitutional Inconveniences | Pressure for Change Mounts as Ontario Judge Rules Canadian Marijuana Possession Law Invalid 270/californiabudget Budget Crisis Forces California Governor to Consider Early Releases, Other Prison Measures | Prosecutors Enlist in Drug Czar's Anti-Marijuana Campaign -- Will Prioritize Marijuana Cases, Lobby Against Reform | Latin American Anti-Prohibition Conference, Feb. 12-15, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico | Cumbre Internacional Sobre Legalización, 15-Dec Febrero, Mérida, México | Newsbrief: Connecticut Legislator to Reintroduce Medical Marijuana Bill | Newsbrief: Prosecutors Seize Bail Money, Claim Pot Smell -- A New Tactic? | Newsbrief: Louisiana Drug Raid Draws Protests | Newsbrief: France Looking to Heighten Marijuana Penalties | Newsbrief: NJ Weedman to Get Day in Federal Court After Months in Jail for Thought Crime | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story | Newsbrief: Afghan Opium Farmers Drive Out Eradicators | Newsbrief: Ethiopian Farmers Turn to Khat in Face of Drought, Low Coffee Prices | DC Job Opportunities at DRCNet | The Reformer's Calendar
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en Espaņol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em Portuguęs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]