Image of Ed Forchion persecution in New Jersey for marijuana legalization
Ed Forchion ~ NJWeedman.com For The Trentonian ~
 
On Monday Gov. Chris Christie was in Ewing taping the Ask the Governor show on NJ 101.5, I was feeling all butthappy at the success of the great Spring Smoke-out held last Saturday at the Statehouse.
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I wanted to call-in and ask The Gov, why is it that 400 citizens could smoke marijuana at the statehouse without arrest yet 22,000 others were arrested last year on the streets of New Jersey, but the screeners wouldn’t let me.
 
So I thought tactically - I’ll meet him outside the studio and use the Pa system on The Weedmobil to ask him my own uncensored question and video tape it. That plot was extremely successful and went semi-viral, being watched by over 5000 in less than 24 hours and several national news media outlets ran stories about our confrontation.
 
So on Wednesday Gov. Chris Christie held a press conference in Manahawkin, where the Daytop treatment center was having a grand opening for its new outpatient location. This was his first New Jersey press conference since Oct. 2014 so he had a full house. He has been giving press conferences around the country but not in his home state. Surprisingly because of those news reports he dedicated three minutes to talking about his “old friend” Weedman and marijuana legalization in New Jersey. Now I found that extremely pleasing, and proof that my tactics are effective. But the “old friend” story he cheerfully, playfully told to the press was not truthful! Gov. Christie lied by omission.
 
The old saying about there are two sides to every story is relevant here. What Mr. Christie recited to the press wasn’t the complete story I remembered.
 
Before I explain Gov. Christie’s lie by omission I have to give you the back story, then my side of the same story.
 
In my “Paul Harvey” voice – Now for the rest of the story.
 
Back story - I’ve always engaged in unorthodox tactics and methods to get my point across and to present my views to the public. I call it thinking outta the bong. Jeff Edelstein “The Trentonian Master Columnist” was one of the first members of the state press corps to notice this. I admit his early articles led me to today where I’m practically a legendary living breathing counter culture nationally known weed-lebrity. I’m now a contemporary of his because of him. Example: He was the reporter I called when I decided to “smoke a joint” in the Statehouse (3/16/2000), before the entire state assembly. That was a classic.
 
In 2000 I was sentenced to 10 years in prison for knowing the truth about marijuana and willingly providing marijuana to those who wanted it. After a total waste of 18 months of my life for that; I was released into the state Intensive Supervision Program (ISP). Again I informed Jeff that two state officials; Harry Goldstein and Thomas Bartlett were threatening to imprison me if I didn’t stop talking to the press or about marijuana (which is protected speech). I described this as an unconstitutional pissing contest between me and the state. I gave Jeff copies of three pro-marijuana legalization TV public service ads I had contracted with Comcast network to air on August 19th 2002. A few days before airing Jeff wrote a story about my ads, “Weedman takes to the air.” These two state officials immediately convinced Comcast to yank them and then they illegally conspired with Ocean County Judge Giovine to have me confined in the Burlington County jail until I could be processed back into the state prison system to serve the remainder of my 10 year sentence; for making public service ads about marijuana.
 
These two officials told Judge Giovine that my actions amounted to advocating criminal activity. It was a bogus, malicious claim to which there wasn’t even a criminal statute against it.
 
To make a long story short – In the BC Jail I went on a hunger strike and filed a Pro Se “writ of habeas corpus” with the federal court in Camden only eating after Federal Judge Irenas accepted my writ. He ordered these state officials to respond to my allegations of this gross First Amendment violation. It took five months of federal court proceedings, the help of the ACLU of NJ, and Clifton attorney John Vincent Saykanic to win my freedom. Jeff reported on each of these proceedings including the Jan 24th, 2003 hearing where Judge Irenas ordered the state of New Jersey to release me, ruling my imprisonment a violation of my free speech rights.
 
Note: Upon this release I went to the department of Justice and attempted to filed federal criminal charges against Mr. Goldstein and Bartlett with the U.S. Attorneys office – my friend - Mr. Christie. About 6 months later I received a letter from Mr. Christie’s office saying he was declining to prosecute these two state employed criminals for the illegal acts they persecuted upon me and my family. I was jailed for telling the truth about marijuana and was rightfully angry, and I was angry with U.S. Attorney Christie too now.
 
So in August 2004 almost a year to the day I was illegally jailed by these state officials I began exercising my 1st amendment rights again, this time by protesting then U.S. Attorney Christie for not prosecuting Goldstein/Bartlett. Like Mr. Christie said at his press conference, “I held signs in front of his Newark office by myself with his face on it calling him a fat hypocrite.”
 
This is where Mr. Christie during his three-minute cheerful rendition differs from my painful recollection, he omits what then happened.
 
So the rest of the story: My old friend Mr. Christie bullied me and failed to mention to the press assembled that I was arrested each time I protested him - by myself. For three weeks in a row I was roughly arrested, specifically I was hogcuffed. This is where your handcuffed behind your back with your feet cuffed. I was painfully carried into his office by the cuffs, and held for a couple hours until after U.S. Attorney Christie left for home and didn’t have to see me when he left.
 
I was off every Monday so on Mondays August 4, 11 and 18 I protested him. Each time my arrest got progressively rougher. Finally when I showed up on August 25th his security detail met me outside with riot gear on which finally convinced me stop trying to exercise free speech at Christie’s U.S. Attorney’s office.
 
Mr. Christie conveniently also doesn’t tell that I also represented myself before Judge Martone and got each of these charges dismissed – again on free speech grounds. The only press that covered this was the New Jersey Law Journal.
 
He after omitting the rest of the story my old friend Chris said the argument to legalize marijuana because alcohol is legal “is not an excuse” and leads to a “slippery slope” of advocating decriminalizing other drugs….Blah blah blah …This should not be permitted in our society. It sends the wrong message.
 
In direct contradiction to what Dr. Sanjay Gupta and the current Surgeon General says he also bloated out…“Every bit of objective data we have tells us that it’s a gateway drug to other drugs. He said states that have legalized marijuana did so “mostly in pursuit of tax riches”…..”cash business”...blah blah blah. I’m governor of New Jersey, there won’t be legalized marijuana. To me, that’s blood money. I’m not going to put the lives of children and citizens at risk to put a little bit more money into the state coffers. At least not on my watch,” he said.
 
How backwards and antiquated he sounds. Please someone tell him. The world is round, there are no witches in Salem and Marijuana is good for you.
 
-------
 
The Garden State?
 
Meanwhile 200 miles south in the nations capital last Thursday 800 people received free legal marijuana seeds to home grow.
 
Unless he flipflops on his reefer madness mentally he will never be elected to the Presidency just because of his marijuana policies. Ironically, Christie recently stressed the need to elect candidates who believe in protecting individual liberties, which he said should be protected — not dictated — by government. ‘Those are not given to us by the government,’ he said. ‘Those are given by God and the government is supposed to be there to enforce and protect those liberties and freedoms, not to determine how we exercise them.’ “
 
God gave us this herb Mr. Christie.
 
~

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