Perennial New Jersey political candidate and marijuana activist Edward Forchion, who goes by "NJWeedman,” has launched a “Just Say No To Governor Christie” ad campaign ahead of the New Jersey Republican's rumored 2016 presidential bid.
“Governor Christie made a political point to be opposed to the marijuana laws and cannabis laws and just taking a cue from the 'Just Say No' campaign I figured I would put out the ads nationally to oppose Governor Christie’s campaign for presidency,” Forchion told My9NJ on Thursday, a few weeks after launching the campaign.
The 49-year-old Rastafarian, who is currently serving a nine-month sentence on a 2010 marijuana possession conviction and subsequent probation violation, spoke to My9NJ about the ads while out of jail for his court-approved 10-day grace period. Every month, Forchion is permitted to fly to California for bone cancer treatment, which includes medical marijuana.
“I’m clearly a marijuana patient. The judge will let me out to go to California, knowing I’m going to get marijuana as soon as I walk out the door,” Forchion told NJ.com in November. “I go to California, where I’m treated like a patient for a few days, then I have to turn around and go back to prison.”
Forchion has been a long-time advocate of increased access to medical marijuana for patients in need. Although New Jersey's third medical marijuana facility opened in Woodbridge in December, Forchion maintained that “it still takes a year for a patient to actually get his card and then get on the list.”
“There are patients who have had their card for over a year now who still don’t have access to medical marijuana from the programs that are already open,” he told My9NJ.
In a December press conference, Gov. Chris Christie told reporters that he was "not open to" a bill seeking to allow registered medical marijuana patients in N.J. to purchase cannabis from a state in which it's legal and bring it back to the Garden State. Christie argued that medical marijuana expansion was just another backdoor strategy for marijuana advocates to legalize recreational use of the drug.
"Every time you sign one expansion, then the advocates will come back and ask for another one," Christie said. "Here's what the advocates want: They want legalization of marijuana in New Jersey. It will not happen on my watch, ever. I am done expanding the medical marijuana program under any circumstances. So we're done."