“I’m extremely sad and upset that I haven’t been able to carry out this noble endeavor and will probably watch as others do it without my story or history,” Forchion wistfully posted on Facebook last week.
According to NJ Weedman, small amounts were donated to the tour “by everyday potheads,” but not nearly enough to fund it. “I’m not criticizing the average Joe that struggles to make ends meet as he works on his feet,” Forchion said. “But why no celebrity support to show the people a way to hand the government a defeat?”
Toke Signals caught up with Forchion on Monday afternoon. Say it ain’t so, Weedman?
“I’ve been saying for months that I was going to have the Jury Nullification tour on July 4 weekend,” Forchion told us. “We’re only two weeks away from that, and I don’t have any money.”
“I had been expecting with all the press I got, that I would get some support, but it just never materialized,” Forchion said. “I got 20 bucks here and 20 there, but not enough to really do anything with.”
“I had met a bunch of celebrities and I thought that they would help, but nothing,” he told us. “After all that talk about jury nullification for years, then taking it to the state, and winning — I thought bells and whistles would go off, a movie deal would happen, a book deal would happen,” Ed said with a rueful laugh.
“I won,” Forchion said. “Everything I said was going to happen, happened. I didn’t deny anything. Lawfully, what I did was 100 percent illegal. I told the jury, ‘I’m not wrong, the law is wrong.’ I got caught with a pound of weed, red-handed.“I don’t think I’m convictable,” Weedman told me. “I don’t think anybody is convictable on a marijuana charge anymore. With a jury of 12 people, how can they get a unanimous decision anymore?
“At this point, I’d say at least seven or eight people will say not guilty if they are informed about jury nullification,” Forchion said. “If you argue that the law is wrong, there’s no way that you can be convicted. I proved that.
“I had an almost all-white jury,” Weedman said. “I wear dreads; I had a weed shirt on; I didn’t deny anything. I smirked; I had my own opinions about things the judge and the prosecutor said.
“If I can do this and I can win, so can the average clean-cut person,” Forchion said. “I’m out here in left field and I did it. Somebody from the infield can surely do it.”
‘The War On Drugs Is Anarchy’
“The lawyers are all down with the War On Drugs and the legal system as it is set up now,” Forchion pointed out. “The legal system is now calling jury nullification ‘anarchy,’ when the Founding Fathers put jury nullification in to prevent anarchy.“The War On Drugs is anarchy,” Forchion said. We can use jury nullification to squash the anarchy of the government.
“I represent myself, so I can present myself as a ‘not-lawyer,’ ” Forchion told me. “Of course, I utilize a lot of that anti-lawyer opinion out there. I try to tell people how they should represent themselves. If you have a weed-only case, represent yourself.
“I tell people, ‘Read the Sixth Amendment.’ It says all defendants have the right to assistance of counsel for their defense,” Forchion said. “I put on my defense, and demanded that the system provide me with an assistant (lawyer) to help me.
“The first few months that he was my lawyer, he fought me over everything,” Weedman said. “After a few months, I beat him down and he realized I wasn’t going to change anything. After awhile, he got onboard, and once he got onboard, I spanked the State of New Jersey’s butt, publicly.”
‘I’m A Hero Around Here’
“I made a lot of enemies in New Jersey, but I’m a hero around here,” Forchion told us. “I can post on Facebook that I need a joint, and somebody will bring me a joint.“But this Jury Nullification Tour, I can’t get anybody to support it,” Weedman said sadly. “To be honest with you, it wouldn’t cost much. I think people think it’s a self-serving thing for me. But I really have this whole thing where I want to help other people.
“The one thing I’ve never really ever been able to do is raise money,” Forchion said. “Sometimes I think, ‘Who’s going to be giving money to some dread-headed black dude who just talks about smoking weed every day?’
“While I’m not trying to name names, this movement has some heavy hitters in it — and there are big money potheads everywhere, but in this movement they exist especially in the entertainment industry of Hollywood, California,” Forchion said.
“The suit and tie people in this movement all try to hide that they smoke marijuana. I do none of that,” Weedman told us. “I smoke weed openly; that’s why I get so much press. But I thought that the idea of my jury nullification win and then touring around the country, enlightening people, would catch on.
“Say I show up at some little town in Missouri,” he said. “As long as I’m not riding around with weed, there’s nothing they can do to me. I’m exercising free speech and enlightening people about jury nullification.”
‘I’m Disappointed in the Weed Movement’
“I’m disappointed in the weed movement,” Weedman said. “I know most activists know who I am. Most organizations, even if they reject me, they know who I am. Something like this, with the Jury Nullification Tour, I’ve had people all over the country saying ‘Come to my case, come to my state, come to my courthouse.”
“People say they want to legalize marijuana, but they don’t tell us how they’re going to do it,” Forchion said. “I’ve been giving an answer of how to do it, for years.”
‘This Is A Sad Day’
“This is a sad day for me for I’ve been advocating jury nullification for as long as I’ve championed the cause of marijuana legalization,” Weedman said. “I truly believed in this. I could just as easily have called myself ‘Jury Nullification Man.’“I’ve publicly espoused jury nullification as the way to win this war against us by our own Government(s) for almost two decades,” Forchion said. “So when I was arrested on April Fools’ Day 2010 I knew I’d be using a jury nullification defense.
“I announced it immediately and openly risked a 10-year imprisonment to prove it to the marijuana legalization movement that jury nullification was the way to win,” Forchion said. “I publicly made statements refusing any plea deals and demanded a jury trial.”
“Despite the fact I was caught red-handed with one pound of marijuana and never denied it, I simply publicly always argued the law was wrong, not I,” Weedman said. “Something I tell others everyday: ‘Ignore the lawyers. Speak to the non-lawyer citizens of your jury.’
“But I didn’t just talk the talk; I walked the walk,” Forchion said. “I represented myself at trial to the chagrin of the prosecutor and judge. I portrayed myself to the jury as the victim of a failed law!”
‘I Publicly Whooped the State of New Jersey’s Ass’
After more than two-and-a-half years of public trial proceedings, on October 18, 2012, a jury found Forchion not guilty on a 12-0 decision.“I was ecstastic,” Forchion said. “I’d publicly whooped the State of New Jersey’s ass, and I thought bongs, bells and whistles would go off, book and movie deals would be signed, cash would flow. None of that happened!”
Still, the Weedman wanted to share his knowledge and victorious tactics with other marijuana defendants. “I wanted to have jury awareness protests in front of selected courthouses across the country in support of other marijuana defendants,” he said.
Somebody was listening, all right. But it wasn’t the audience NJ Weedman wanted; it was the federal government.
‘The Government Has Taken Me Seriously Enugh To Undermine My Efforts’
“The DEA, within days of my court victory, began to harass me out of my Los Angeles business again (USCollective),” Forchion posted on Facebook. “I was forced to close on Election Day, November 6, and State of New Jersey officials contrived a bullshit reason to jail me for 46 days anyway, further depleting my funds.”“The government clearly interfered with my bone cancer treatments and cut off my disability,” Forchion said. “So while the legalization movement hasn’t taken me or my jury nullification message seriously enough to be supportive, the government has taken me seriously enough to undermine my efforts.
“Still, I envisioned victoriously traveling the USA in the Weedmobil like Johnny Appleseed spreading jury nullification knowledge,” Weedman said. “I really thought I was going to start this patriotic Jury Nullification Tour across the country on July 4th from Los Angeles.
“My belief was as defendant after defendant utilized jury nullification and won, we’d win this war,” Forchion said. “Until recently, I had hope; now I’m feeling like a dope!”
‘I Have Absolutely No Cash’
“I have absolutely no cash, or a budget for this venture,” Forchion said. “Ideals just aren’t enough; the reality of the situation now is really setting in. The Weedmobil has been vandalized and robbed. The stereo and CB has been stolen. And the Weedmobil has worn out its welcome where it’s been parked for free the last two months and must be moved ASAP.
“I have no place to put it and may just junk it for some pocket cash, for the Jury Nullification Tour is about to be thrown in the trash,” NJ Weedman said.
“The government didn’t win this battle; the movement stood by and let it win!” Forchion said. “And this is an example of why the government continues to victimize ‘us’ — there is no support for us.
“The fact that I’m canceling this Jury Nullification Tour is a victory for the government,” Forchion said. “I never quit anything. I’m feeling bad about quitting, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”