New Jersey: MS Patient faces Marijuana Charges

Somerville, NJ- The trial is moving with unexpected speed for John Wilson, a New Jersey Multiple Sclerosis patient who had 17 cannabis plants spotted outside his home last year.

A jury was selected today and the trial got underway at 1:30PM within the Somerset County Courthouse.

Wilson’s trial will continue throughout the week, but testimony may conclude as early as Wednesday. Supporters from CMMNJ and NORML-NJ plan to be present.

Prosecuting the case is Deputy Attorney General Russ Curley. The presiding Superior Court Judge and prosecution have zealously kept out any information or testimony regarding medical marijuana or even personal use, arguing the reason why the plants were grown is irrelevant.

The state Attorney General’s office has charged him with the first-degree felony of ‘Operating a Drug Manufacturing Facility,’ a statute originally created to go after cocaine dealers. The Superior Court Judge presiding over the trial has barred John and his defense attorney from mentioning to the jury that John even has MS.

Wilson faces 15-35 years in state prison if convicted.

Supporters held signs in front of the courthouse again today, the third public demonstration for John.

State Senators Nicholas Scutari and Raymond Lesniak have asked for NJ Governor Jon Corzine to grant a pardon. They are both co-sponsors of the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act and Senator Scutari is himself a municipal prosecutor in Lynden. Their statement requesting the pardon was strongly worded:

“It seems cruel and unusual to treat New Jersey’s sick and dying as if they were drug cartel kingpins. Moreover, it is a complete waste of taxpayer money having to house and treat an MS patient in a jail at the public’s expense,” said Senator Scutari, D-Union, Middlesex and Somerset. “Specifically, in the case of John Ray Wilson, the State is taking a fiscally irresponsible hard-line approach against a man who’s simply seeking what little relief could be found from the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis. Governor Corzine should step in immediately and end this perversion of criminal drug statutes in the Garden State.”

“Without compassion and a sense of moral right and wrong, laws are worth less than the paper they’re printed on,” said Senator Lesniak, D-Union. “New Jersey’s tough criminal drug laws were never intended to be used against patients suffering from chronic and terminal medical conditions. The prosecutors and presiding judge have set up a scenario where Mr. Wilson is no different than a common street thug in the eyes of the law.” Read their release in full

One response to “New Jersey: MS Patient faces Marijuana Charges”

  1. This is just plain ridiculous. I suffer from moderate to severe chronic pain and struggle every day to get by. If this man has found a way to reduce his pain then more power to him.

    There are so many “legal” drugs out there that have the potential to do far more damage than marijuana. I am on many of those drugs and worry every day about how they are affecting my body.

    Shame on these prosecuters for persuing these charges. People who are not in chronic pain cannot understand how far sufferers are willing to go to try to relieve that pain. Living a life curled up in a fetal position is no life at all. I know.

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