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The New Jersey Weedman has struck again.

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The New Jersey Weedman has struck again.

Political pot activist, and congressional candidate, Edward Forchion, a.k.a
NJWEEDMAN, filed an appeal Wednesday on marijuana possession convictions
stemming from two instances in 1998 during which he smoked a joint in the Camden
office of Congressman Rob Andrews.

Forchion, a practicing Rastafarian who shocked onlookers in March when he lit
another doobie in the chambers of the New Jersey Assembly, argued in his brief
that the convictions violate his religious rights and also deny him a critical
treatment for a variety of medical afflictions.

"The marijuana laws of New Jersey are based on lies," declared Forchion, who is
running on the Legalize Marijuana Party ticket for New Jersey's First
Congressional District seat, during a visit to The Trentonian.

"Everyone in prison for marijuana use is there because of lies. They are
political prisoners," he added.

The pot-smoking incidents related to his current convictions took place on April
27 and 28, 1998, according to Forchion's appeal document.

The document states that "on or about April 2, 1998" Defendant Edward Robert
Forchion wrote a letter to Congressman Rob Andrews asking him to support the
passage of legislation pending before Congress that would have legalized
marijuana use for medical purposes.

Reportedly angered by Andrews' response in another letter, the document states,
Forchion visited the congressman's office on April 27, 1998, smoked a joint to
demonstrate its medicinal benefits and then left the office. An hour later he
returned to Andrews' office and smoked another joint. He was subsequently

The next day, the document states, Forchion went to The Democratic Party
headquarters in Cherry Hill, where he smoked another joint to demonstrate the
plant's power. He was also promptly arrested after this incident.

On February 23 and 29, 2000, Forchion was convicted for marijuana possession for
these arrests.

Carrying a massive file of medical reports, Forchion argued Wednesday that
marijuana smoke was crucial for treating his afflictions of asthma, depression,
chronic pain and trauma-induced epilepsy.

In his appeal brief, Forchion writes "It is NJWEEDMAN's contention that he has a
fundamental right under the United States Constitution, and the New Jersey
Constitution to make rational choices regarding his medical care, and that the
state may not limit his choices for effective medical treatment without
demonstrating a compelling need and employing a means that it narrowly tailored
to accomplish its objective."

"I could have kept my marijuana smoking private, like most people do. But
because I'm honest and forthright about what I do, I'm now in legal trouble,"
Forchion declared.

A hearing on the issue has been scheduled for August 28.