TRENTON — New Jersey’s most notorious marijuana-legalization advocate moves closer to trial after a grand jury indicted the 52-year-old city resident on a slew of charges stemming from a raid of his eatery and store-front pot temple in April.

Ed Forchion is facing:

  • Four counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance
  • One count of distribution; one count of possession with the intent to distribute
  • One count of possession with the intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school
  • One count of distribution within 1,000 feet of a school
  • One count of maintaining a narcotics nuisance
  • One count of possession of drug paraphernalia with the intent to distribute
  • And one count of maintaining a fortified structure

Forchion and 10 others were arrested in the April 27 raid. Officials said they confiscated more than $19,000 worth of marijuana from the premises, located directory across the street from City Hall.

After posting bail in Apirl, Forchion told New Jersey 101.5 that he looked forward to his day in court, saying he would give Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri a legal “ass whoopin’.”

“I believe I’m conviction proof,” he said at the time.

In 2012 he successfully defended himself against drug-dealing charges.

He’s suing the city of Trenton in federal court, arguing that officials violated his religious rights by targeting his marijuana church for closure.

A month after the raid, Trenton police arrested Forchion on cyber-harassment and disorderly conduct charges, for calling a Trenton cop a pedophile, which was caught on tape and posted by someone else on Facebook.

A lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey called the charges “pretty ridiculous.”

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email

Sign up for the Newsletter

Get the best of delivered to your inbox every day.