Following the death of a resolution that would have supported marijuana legalization in New Jersey, Ed “NJ Weedman” Forchion repeatedly called members of the council “cowards” while proceeding to spark a cannabis joint inside the council chambers.
After Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson asked for a motion to vote on the resolution asking the state of New Jersey to legalize, tax and regulate cannabis, none of the other Council members seconded the motion. With no support from another council member, Caldwell-Wilson attempted to move the resolution to the council’s next meeting. When no member supported her again, the motion died without conversation or further consideration. Disappointed in her fellow council members, Caldwell-Wilson left the chambers on her immediately following the vote.
Once the decision was clear, NJ Weedman immediately lit a joint, and shared it with the other people sitting around him in the room. His actions drew attention from City Clerk Richard Kachmar, who simply asked that Forchion be escorted out of the council chambers by members of security.
While being escorted out, Forchion vocalized his feelings about the trial with members of the Council,
“All of you are cowards. You couldn’t even vote. If you had some balls, you would at least say ‘no.’ You’re cowards.”
Forchion was one of nearly 25 cannabis activists reportedly present at the meeting to show their support for the motion.
Although the result of the Council meeting was not what supporters of cannabis legalization would have preferred, the way in which the peaceful demonstration was handled by authorities shows how much perception of marijuana and those who use has evolved. If a demonstration such as this had occurred just a few years ago, it likely would have ended in criminal prosecution.