Jury-Nullification Gets Accused Pot Dealer Off the Hook

Personally, I am no pot-head. So in that respect this case has no bearing on me personally one way or the other. I am not over here smoked-out mumbling "right on man, right on" and applauding this as a victory for marijuana smokers.

However, I do believe that the war on drugs is a terrible waste of resources, and is more damaging than the drugs themselves. Even when it comes to harder drugs, other than marijuana, I believe in decriminalization. 

I also believe that a jury has not only the right, but the duty to return an acquittal, regardless of the facts, when they see a law as unjust or being improperly applied.

Be sure to also read...

What is Jury Nullification?

... if you are a stranger to the concept.

NJWeedman found not guilty in pot distribution case

MOUNT HOLLY — Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion hopes the not-guilty verdict a Burlington County jury rendered in his pot distribution trial plants a seed for other medical marijuana patients and sparks a change in the law.

“I think other patients should argue the same points. They can call it the ‘Weedman defense,’ ” he said after a jury of 10 women and two men returned the verdict Thursday following an hourlong deliberation that ended the three-day trial. “The law is wrong. My jury heard that and understood that.”

Forchion, who claims dual residency in Pemberton Township and Los Angeles, was acquitted of possession with the intent to distribute a pound of marijuana that police found in his trunk during a traffic stop on April 1, 2010, in Mount Holly.

The state contended that the sheer volume in Forchion’s possession and the $2,000 in cash he had in his pocket at the time of his arrest were tell-tale signs of distribution, despite the absence of other packaging paraphernalia.

Forchion has maintained that he is no drug dealer. He brought the marijuana from California, where he is a licensed medical marijuana patient, for his own use while on a trip to New Jersey to visit his family, he claimed.

“I don’t use it the way the state says. To me, it’s medicine, it’s food,” Forchion said in his closing argument, noting for the jury that he had been eating pot-laced cookies throughout the trial. “I feel I’m the victim of a flawed law.”

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NJ “Weedman” found not guilty in jury nullification victory

With few options left for people to protect themselves from the ever growing police state, an old and long forgotten aspect of constitutional law is making a huge comeback, and becoming very popular in cases where people are facing jail time for nonviolent offenses.

This reemerging defense is the act of jury nullification, which is basically the right for any juror to not only judge the facts of the case, but to also actually judge the validity of the law itself. This means that if a jury feels that a defendant is facing an unjust charge they actually have the right to rule in their favor even if they are technically guilty.

Ed Forchion is a medical cannabis user and cancer patient known as the “NJ weedman”. Ed claims dual residency in Pemberton Township, New Jersey and Los Angeles, California. Due to his residency in California he has a prescription for Cannabis and is legally allowed to grow and consume the plant in that state.

However, he is not legally allowed to possess the plant in the state of New Jersey and unfortunately while in New Jersey on April 1, 2012 Forchion was stopped by police and found with a pound of cannabis and $2,000, enough to get slapped with a distribution charge.
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