NJ Weedman Plans Jury Nullification Tour

With few options left for communities 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.

In 1782, Thomas Jefferson wrote in his book “Notes on the State of Virginia” that “it is usual for the jurors to decide the fact, and to refer the law arising on it to the decision of the judges. But this division of the subject lies with their discretion only. And if the question relate to any point of public liberty, or if it be one of those in which the judges may be suspected of bias, the jury undertake to decide both law and fact.”

Considering the fact that most of the nonviolent offenses on the books today are extremely unpopular for a variety of reasons, you would think that jury nullification would be household knowledge, or taught in schools even. However, this is a very well guarded secret, with many judges actually preventing the defense from informing juries of their right to nullify laws that they feel are unjust. Some places such as New Hampshire are actually passing laws which prevent the judge from keeping this a secret.

On June 18, 2012 Governor John Lynch of New Hampshire signed HB 146, which reads: “In all criminal proceedings the court shall permit the defense to inform the jury of its right to judge the facts and the application of the law in relation to the facts in controversy.”

This sort of legislative approach is important and commendable, but people don’t have to wait for laws like this to pass in their area. Anyone who ever sits on a jury has the ability to speak out to the other jurors and let them know of their full rights. Even people who aren’t picked for jury duty still have the ability to inform their neighbors, friends and family about the existence of jury nullification, as this is becoming an extremely important tool in these strange and difficult times that we are living in.

Jury Nullification Tour

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.

Ed’s primary strategy throughout his whole ordeal has been jury nullification, much to the dismay of Superior Court Judge Charles Delehey, who presided over both trials.

Forchion was passionate in his closing arguments, wearing a shirt that said “Marijuana … It’s OK. It’s Just Illegal” and telling the jury that he had been munching on pot cookies throughout the whole trial. Then at one point he was nearly held in contempt of court for trying to advance his jury nullification argument.

When Forcion started to talk about nullification, Delehey quickly stopped him, reminding him that he wasn’t allowed to go there, but Forchion fought back with intelligence and intensity. Frustrated, the judge ordered the jury out of the room and told him he would be held in contempt if he continued to speak the truth.

According to Phillyblurbs the judge told him “If you want to make a martyr of yourself, the court will deal with you. You’ve done everything you can to disrupt this trial.”

Despite the bullying of the judge, a jury of 12 decided that the law he had broken was illegitimate, and they ruled not guilty…



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