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Ed Forchion is a black man with dreads. He smokes marijuana. Since long before it was contemporary to say so, Ed has advocated for medical marijuana and outright legalization.
Now, you might imagine, a black man with dreads advocating for smoking marijuana might not go down so well with people in authority, even a few years ago. You would be right. For his peaceful and poignant advocacy, Ed was thrown in jail. Ed also happens to be brilliant. He learned the legal system and submitted his own ultimately successful writ of habeas corpus.
Ed moved to Los Angeles and opened a small and legal marijuana dispensary, his life-long ambition as a free man in The United States of America. He was living the American Dream. But Ed also had powerful political enemies. They took his small and legal marijuana dispensary away from him.
Ed had developed painful bone tumors in his legs, for which he used marijuana to alleviate the pain. While visiting New Jersey, Ed was pulled over for driving while black when he was found to be in possession of a pound of marijuana. Ed turned the legal system on its head arguing for jury nullification… that and that he should not be tagged with a distribution charge because the pound of marijuana was all meant for his own personal consumption. For a while there, Ed was trying to make the point that he was being treated “just like a nigger” by petitioning the court to change his name to “Just a Nigger.”
The jury actually believed Ed and failed to convict him on the distribution charge, but did find him guilty of simple possession. The judge, knowing that sentiment was changing across the country (and as it was 2013 and all), he couldn’t just send a black man with dreads to prison for simple possession, so he sent Ed to prison for being too uppity. Ed returned to prison, where he quietly read good books and noted what a waste of time prison was (predominantly for men of color). The irony was that Ed was allowed to leave prison once a month to go to California for medical treatment, where, incidentally, he was free to use marijuana for his own mental, physical, and spiritual healing.
Take a look across the country… the laws change so fast. Ed has clearly won his life-long battle. On April 20 of this year, Ed invited the press to bear witness as he, nailed to a cross of cannabis, lit up in protest on the steps of the State House in Trenton. Nobody arrested him. Ed Forchion had made his point, definitively.
Then Ed went back to Los Angeles to have those pesky bone tumors removed. There ain’t no prison in the country that’s gonna wanna pick up his medical bills.
Now, a few weeks later, Ed, who also goes by the nom de voyage NJ Weedman, has taken out of storage his old van, emblazoned with marijuana leaves and the NJ Weedman superhero, and is beginning a drive across the country to return to his home in New Jersey, a free man.
Deities can create their own universes. So may mortal men. Ed Forchion nailed himself to the cross for his cause and lived to see a legitimate Cannabis Culture take root across America. He allowed himself be jailed so that you and your loved ones might never be. Ed is deserving of your appreciation. This is his victory tour.
I’ve actually met Ed once. If you ever get the chance to hear him speak, he really is brilliant. As he and his band of merry men journey across the country in the Weedmobile., let’s follow and see where it takes them. Let’s see them back to The Garden State safely.
Godspeed, gentlemen. May your travels and Faith bring you great Wisdom.