Times are not so high for N.J. pot advocate

Tucking into a veggie omelet, Ed Forchion says he's under fire in the courts and denied the marijuana he uses to control the pain from a tumor on his knee.
Tucking into a veggie omelet, Ed Forchion says he's under fire in the courts and denied the marijuana he uses to control the pain from a tumor on his knee. (DAVID MAIALETTI / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)
Posted: January 16, 2012

Chillin' Wit' is a regular feature of the Daily News spotlighting a name in the news away from the job.

IT SEEMS REDUNDANT to ask Ed Forchion what he does to relax, or how the longtime marijuana activist chills after a long day of, ahem, "working."

He smokes marijuana every day. He's probably inhaled more herb than anyone you know, but it's been getting harder for Forchion to forget his troubles. He just flew into Philly, where it was in the 20s yesterday, from Los Angeles, where it was about 60 - to file a court motion. He's not high, but he will be later.

"I used to be chilling all the time, trust me," Forchion, 47, says over breakfast yesterday at the Reading Terminal Market. "Now I'm stressing all the time."

Forchion, who lost a fight to change his name to NJ Weedman, has a lot to stress over. He's representing himself in a possession-and-distribution case in Burlington County after being pulled over on April 1, 2010, with a pound of marijuana. He has a medical-marijuana card from California. On the breakfast table at Molly Malloy's, the former Beer Garden at the terminal, is an X-ray of a tumor on his knee.

"It's been a nightmare," he says.

Forchion's a dual resident of Pembertown Township and Los Angeles, where he distributed marijuana from his Liberty Belle Temple on Hollywood Boulevard up until Dec. 13. That's the day the DEA came.

"They took everything. They took all my weed, all my equipment. They took the keys to my safe, then took all the money out of it," he says over hot tea and a veggie omelet. "Unless someone steps up with $25,000 to $30,000, I'm out of business."

He's hoping to empower a jury of his peers in New Jersey and repeated the mantra "jury nullification" over a few more cups of tea. Basically, he wants jurors to know they don't have to convict him, even if he's guilty. He thinks more and more people, whether they blaze up joints personally or know someone who does, are on his side.

"I'm gonna kick the prosecution's ass. I hope you can print that," he says. "I'm gonna spank New Jersey's ass."

- Jason Nark


Chillin' Wit' is a regular feature of the Daily News spotlighting a name in the news away from the job.

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