NJ grower tells D&J marijuana should be legal, is convicted same day (Listen)
Mays Landing resident John Peditto doesn't dispute that he grows marijuana plants — but he does dispute that it's a problem.
Peditto, 54, has admitted to growing 17 marijuana plants, primarily for personal use, which were discovered by police in Tuckerton in 2012. He also admitted to selling weed to family and friends as a source of income.
Thursday, he was convicted of operating a drug facility — he faces a minimum of 10 years in state prison.
But just hours before that conviction, he called into Dennis & Judi to discuss how the trial is going, how he got caught and his personal marijuana usage.
People accept the need for medical marijuana use, he said, joined by marijuana advocate "NJ Weedman" Ed Forchion on the call. "I'm just trying to connect those dots between medical and recreational," Peditto said.
"When I come home from work, instead of drinking alcohol, I smoke a joint, and that's it,' he said.
Dennis & Judi sympathized with Peditto, who has a family and was working full-time as a photographer before his arrest. They said they thought a sentence of as much as 36 years in jail was ridiculous for growing weed plants — and would rather see marijuana made legal than distributed on a black market.
Both said they hoped for jury nullification — an instance where a jury finds someone not guilty because it disagrees with the law.
"I've been touting nullification as long as I've been touting marijuana," Forchion said.
Dennis & Judi, along with their guests, were hopeful that nullifcaition could still happen: "Let's pray that they hear his message and they vote to acquit," Dennis said.
Peditto has been remanded to the Ocean County Jail until his sentencing.