Why ‘Weedman’ has mixed thoughts on marijuana ballot question (Opinion)
You would think that Ed Forchion, better known as "Weedman" for his marijuana crusade, would be on board with letting the people of New Jersey decide whether recreational marijuana should be legalized — but as he told me when he came on my show on New Jersey 101.5 Monday night:
"I have a lot of mixed feelings on it. I'm happy that legalization is still proceeding," Forchion said, who's against state Sen. Nicholas Scutari's legalization bill, SB2703, which the senator has been sponsoring long before legislative leaders said the question would instead go to the ballot. "After we pass it, and I think New Jerseyans will pass it, does Senator Scutari sneak in his 2703 in any way, which will exclude the black market (which Weedman is a part of)?"
If you're legalizing something that's illegal, wouldn't it make the most sense to give the opportunity to those who are the most experienced in the marijuana business as opposed to inexperienced corporations?
"You got to think about it this way," Forchion said. "For the last 50 years, the black market has supplied just about 100 percent of the marijuana that's consumed in this state. There's no legal market to get it other than medical, and he's creating this bill, 2703, giving the market to these corporations — and the black market, of which I'm still a member, of will be illegal"
Forchion, whose restaurant NJ Weedman's Joint caters to the cannabis community, said he's been arrested three times this year, including on Veterans Day.
"I'm a vet and I got arrested on Veterans Day," Forchion said.
He also spoke about the towns and counties that have ordinances banning marijuana if it does become legal.
"That's great to me. I'm glad that all those suburban and shore towns don't want it 'cause then maybe the cities that have been the victims of this war on drugs, maybe they can finally capitalize and these people who have had their lives ruined in say, Trenton and Camden, Newark — maybe they can have these cannabis corporations that are supplying jobs and cannabis."
Forchion said people are still going to buy in those towns where marijuana sales are banned: "They're fools for not taking that tax — then all right, let them be fools to their own detriment."
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