New Jersey MS Patient Sent to Prison for Five Years for Growing His Medicine

New Jersey Multiple Sclerosis patient John Ray Wilson was sentenced last Friday to five years in prison for growing marijuana plants to ease his symptoms. Wilson, whose case we profiled in December, originally faced up to 20 years in prison, but a jury failed to convict him of the most serious, maintaining a habitation where marijuana is manufactured. He was convicted of manufacturing marijuana (17 plants) and possession of psychedelic mushrooms. Wilson was convicted in December, before New Jersey recognized medical marijuana. Ironically, it became the 14th state to do so between the time Wilson was convicted and his sentencing. But the new New Jersey law would not have protected Wilson's marijuana growing because it only allows for patients to obtain it at state-monitored dispensaries. State Superior Court Judge Robert Reed banned any references to Wilson's medical condition during his trial, finding that personal use was not a defense and that New Jersey had no law protecting medical marijuana use. Wilson was ultimately able to make a brief, one-sentence mention of his medical reasons for growing marijuana, but that wasn't enough to sway the jury. Wilson's attorney, James Wronko, told the Associated Press that the outcome might have been different had the jury been allowed to hear more about his illness. "We're disappointed that he's in state prison for smoking marijuana to treat his multiple sclerosis," Wronko . "I think anytime someone using marijuana for their own medical use goes to state prison, it's clearly a harsh sentence." Wilson's case became a cause célèbre for regional medical marijuana advocates, and also drew attention from the state legislature. Two state senators, Nicholas Scutari, sponsor of the medical marijuana bill, and Ray Lesniak, called in October for Gov. Jon Corzine (D) to pardon Wilson. But Corzine punted, saying he preferred to wait until after Wilson's trial had finished. Now, Wilson has been sentenced to prison, Corzine's term has ended, and new Republican Gov. Chris Christie is not nearly as medical marijuana-friendly. Wronko said an appeal of the sentence was in the works.
Location: 
NJ
United States
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Shameful day for New Jersey, and that's another teacher...

they are going to have to fire. No matter how much people hate recreational cannabis, they should leave medicinal cannabis out of it. Otherwise they're going to get accused of holding seriously and desperately ill patients hostage in their anti cannabis, pro alcohol war.

How do you ask an MS patient…

…to be the last person arrested in a drug war?

Giordano

Cases like this

-- not the watch sales, the chronically ill person going to prison -- make me wish I beleived in Hell as taught by the Catholics. If I could believe that every member of this jury would someday pay for their sins against humanity, I could rest a lot easier.

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