Nullifying the Drug War: Man beats cannabis charges with jury nullification

Free Your Mind Conference

What do you do when you’re caught with a pound of marijuana and $2,000 at a traffic stop? Argue that the laws prohibiting possession and distribution of marijuana are unjust. That’s what Robert Edward Forchion (Ed Forchion), otherwise known as the NJ Weedman, did to avoid a potential ten-year prison sentence for distribution of marijuana. He will be speaking at this years Free Your Mind Conference.

A bone cancer patient, Forchion uses medical marijuana to treat his pain. Forchion has a prescription for medical marijuana in California, where he obtained the marijuana at issue in his trial. So he can legally grow and consume marijuana there. However, New Jersey law prohibits him from doing so.

Prior to his arrest, Forchion had been an outspoken advocate of marijuana legalization for many years. He founded the Legalize Marijuana Party and has run for various New Jersey elected offices primarily on the issue of marijuana legalization. So he was familiar with the many public opinion polls consistently reflecting that more than 50% Americans believe that marijuana should be legalized.

Explaining his acquittal on distribution charges, Forchion says, “I was guilty. You know? I got caught red-handed too. But . . . most Americans believe marijuana laws are wrong.”

According to Forchion, people charged with marijuana offenses should represent themselves at least to the extent that they make their own opening statements during trial so that they can connect with the jury as a person, not as a criminal. He says because he represented himself, he was able to make all of the arguments he wanted to make to the jury about the immorality of the marijuana laws with which he was charged. He also paid close attention to jury selection and tried to select jurors who would be sympathetic to his cause.

At his first trial, seven of twelve jurors voted to acquit Forchion. The other five voted to convict, resulting in a hung jury. The judge declared a mistrial because the jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict. When there’s a mistrial, the prosecutor may choose to retry the case, which Forchion’s prosecutor did. At Forchion’s second trial, all twelve of the jurors voted for acquittal.

So Forchion is a free man today. He continues to advocate for marijuana legalization and advise others on jury nullification strategies to defeat unjust criminal charges. Forchion will be speaking at the Free Your Mind Conference in Philadelphia in April. Click here to get tickets to see Ed Forchion and many other amazing independent thinkers and researchers speak about consciousness, mind control, and the occult at Free Your Mind 3.