Newsbrief: NJ Weedman Sues Comcast, Asks $420,000 3/21/03

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Ed Forchion, the marijuana legalization advocate freed from jail in January after a federal judge found that New Jersey officials had unlawfully violated his parole for speaking out on a public policy issue -- legalizing marijuana -- has filed a $420,000 lawsuit against the state's largest cable TV provider. The suit charges that Comcast Communications censored pro-legalization ads he planned to run and libeled him in the mass media.

Forchion entered into a contract with Comcast last summer to broadcast political issue ads, but Comcast dumped the ads and told the media Forchion was advocating the illegal use of drugs. In an interview with Preston Peet's Drug War news web site (, at time of Forchion's arrest for parole violation last August, Comcast vice-president of corporate communications told Peet the cable giant did run commercials by drug prohibition outfits, such as the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Partnerships for a Drug-Free America, but that it would not run Forchion's ads because they "promote the use of habit forming drugs or drug paraphernalia."

But Forchion's advertisements are available online ( and clearly show that he is advocating a public policy position, not the use of marijuana.

Comcast had no comment on the suit. The lawsuit is assigned for trial to US District Judge Joseph Irenas. No trial date has yet been set.

Visit Forchion's web site at to learn more about the New Jersey Weedman.

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Issue #279, 3/21/03 New York City Mayor Bloomberg Backs Needle Exchange, But Where's the Money? | Medical Marijuana Update: Bills Killed in Arkansas, Wyoming But Moving Forward in Maryland, Vermont, Bad Bill Introduced in Oregon | UN Says Colombian Coca Cultivation Down 30 Percent, Overall Production Down, Too -- Experts Say Not Really | Newsbrief: Marco Cappato in Jail for British Marijuana Civil Disobedience | Newsbrief: Mexican Governor Candidate Says Legalize Drugs | Newsbrief: Guardian Newspaper Calls on Britons to Promote Home Grows, Not Prosecute Them | Newsbrief: Vancouver Ponders "Safe Smoking Materials" for Crack Users | Newsbrief: Medical Marijuana Hits the Shelves in Dutch Pharmacies | Newsbrief: New Jersey Bans Racial Profiling | Newsbrief: NJ Weedman Sues Comcast, Asks $420,000 | Newsbrief: House Republicans Hold Off on Subpoena of Federal Judge | Newsbrief: Informant Nailed for Fake Ecstasy Scam | The Reformer's Calendar

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