This Wednesday, May 8th, Ed Forchion – known by many as NJWeedman after successfully being nullified of intent to distribute a pound of marijuana in New Jersey – will begin his national “Jury Nullification Tour”, a tour intending to raise awareness about jury nullification (a process we explain in a recent article). In short, jury nullification is an age-old practice, though rarely implemented, whereby juries have the right to determine the guilt or innocence of a defendant based on their moral interpretation of the law.
The tour will begin in Bellingham Washington with a “Jury Nullification Awareness Protest”, to be held in front of the Whatcam County District Court (311 Grand St. in Bellingham, WA), to protest the raid and pending-charges of three medical marijuana safe access operators.
According to today’s press release:
When Martin Nickerson opened Northern Cross Collective Gardens (NCCG), a medical marijuana collective garden, he had the health and well being of his patients in mind. Operating under the jurisdiction of State Law Rcw 69.51a, his Bellingham, Wash. location is supported by over 1300 patients, many of whom are disease suffering and seek the protection of the state’s newly implemented medical marijuana legalization laws to use cannabis as a natural source of medicine.
When the local police raided his business months later however, not only was he surprised, hurt and angered, he along with two of his employees were also arrested and charged with felony crimes ranging from conspiracy, to possession of an “illegal” substance with intent to deliver. Collectively the three face over 25 years in prison if found guilty.
Nickerson and his staff, the “Bellingham Cannabis 3,” plan to fight those charges and win. On Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. the “Bellingham Cannabis 3″ will join forces with nationally recognized medical marijuana activist Ed Forchion aka NJWeedman during a “Jury Nullification Awareness Protest” to be held in front of the Whatcam County District Court at 311 Grand St. in Bellingham, Wash. Northern Cross patients and supportive tax paying citizens will march and speak out against the unprecedented raids on three different collectives in the area while Forchion will provide a national perspective and discuss jury nullification.
An unlikely trio of sorts, Nickerson is a 36-year-old budding entrepreneur and father, who uses cannabis for afflictions he suffers from degenerative disc disease and acid reflex disease. Chris Ramsey is a 31-year-old patient and volunteer at Northern Cross. Born with Spina Bifida, a severe disorder caused by the incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube, and severe nerve damage, the use of cannabis has seen him forfeit the use of a host of prescription drugs including muscle relaxers, pain killers, anti-nausea pills, and stool softeners. Saroj Sidhu is a young 22-year college student and she is a former volunteer at Northern Cross.
According to the release, “It is our goal to inform everyone that as members of a jury they have the power to nullify any law that they don’t consider just.”
Martin Nickerson added, “With this protest, we hope to better educate our peers and the public about the jury nullification process which can ultimately lead to the proof of our innocence. NCCG is fundamentally a small group of people helping a large group of suffering patients. No one should ever be made to feel like a criminal for that.”