‘I’m a political prisoner’ — NJ Weedman sounds beaten down by latest arrest
You really got to give Ed Forchion credit: He never gives up. But today, he's locked up.
And today he sounds sad, frustrated and incredulous at what seems to me to be a targeted attack, and a manipulation of the law.
The usually chipper weed activist sounds uncharacteristically tired, angry and despondent when he called our show Monday. That doesn't mean he will stop fighting for what he believes in, but he's certainly suffered a setback.
For those of you who have been living under a rock, Ed Forchion is the legal name of NJ Weedman, a man who has been espousing the benefits of and advocating for the legalization of marijuana for years, while at the same time revealing some uncomfortable truths about New Jersey law enforcement and politics.
He's endured harassment, bullying, incarceration and miscarriages of justice throughout his long fight. Many times I have suggested to him that it's time to throw in the towel and move to someplace where he can live under the radar in a serene state of marijuana-induced oblivion, but as principled of a guy as Weedman is, he's not likely to do that anytime soon.
His latest run-in with the law is the most egregious, in my opinion. It's a long, convoluted story but what it boils down to is this:
On social media, Ed Forchion exposed the name and identity of a man he calls "the rat." According to the Trentonian, prosecutors maintain that confidential informant purchased weed from Ed at his business, Weedman's Joint, an eatery and "marijuana temple." Ed's always denied selling any marijuana there, though he does acknowledge "sharing" it.
The "rat," true to his mission, turned Ed over to authorities after alleged "controlled buys," the Trentonian quotes prosecutor Stephanie Katz saying.
Now, Ed's charged with witness tampering and being held without bail for revealing the informant's name.
Drug dealing aside, why does the state want to keep the cooperating witness' name a secret? They contend that it's for his safety, but this isn't a murder investigation! This isn't a Colombian drug cartel we're dealing with! We're talking about weed here. And "the rat" is probably a nebbish who no one but Stephanie Katz cares enough about to either hurt or protest.
That's why Ed and his supporters are calling him a political prisoner. Because it's not about his race and it's not about the so-called "witness tampering," and it's not really even about the weed. It's about power.
People in power don't like when a regular Joe can prove them wrong. And being wrong can be frustrating, even embarrassing. Okay, I'll admit, Weedman toys with them a little — but who can blame him?
I'll also admit that I don't think Weedman is always in the right. But he has shown them time and time again how shoddy their system is, and that they have no more right to manipulate that system than he does.
So if a guy like Ed keeps challenging them (and he will), they'll keep trying to use their power to show him who's boss. And unfortunately for Weedman, here in New Jersey, power trumps truth every time.
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