Pubdate: Fri, 20 May 2016
Source: Trentonian, The (NJ)
Copyright: 2016 The Trentonian
Author: Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman


TRENTON - On Nov. 5, 2015, the local businessman known as NJ Weedman 
shocked public officials when he lit up a joint and smoked his 
precious marijuana inside City Council Chambers at Trenton City Hall.

This week, Ed Forchion received summonses in the mail charging him 
with smoking inside a public building in violation of a city 
ordinance and smoking in public in violation of state law.

Trenton Police Capt. Edelmiro Gonzalez, who was one of the many 
witnesses who saw Forchion smoke inside City Hall, signed the 
summonses against Forchion, according to Trenton Police Lt. Stephen Varn.

Forchion lit up a joint and smoked it inside City Council Chambers 
last fall in protest after City Council members failed to hold an 
up-or-down vote on a pro-marijuana resolution that would have 
championed the legalization of pot.

Forchion, who owns the NJ Weedman's Joint restaurant across from 
Trenton City Hall, on Thursday accused the city of "harassment" and 
alleged the city is trying to put him out of business.

"I am under siege by the police department," said Forchion, who has 
recently filed a lawsuit against the city.

Last month, the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force raided Forchion's 
East State Street businesses, which includes a restaurant, religious 
sanctuary and tobacco shop, and allegedly seized more than $19,000 in 

During the raid, 11 people, including Forchion, were arrested for 
various offenses. Some were apprehended in connection with 
outstanding warrants, and others were charged with new drug offenses.

Trenton Police in recent weeks have also cracked down on Forchion for 
allegedly conducting business after the city's 11 p.m. curfew that 
applies to his restaurant.

NJ Weedman's Joint business manager Philmore Charles, 28, was 
arrested on the 300 block of East State Street early Thursday for 
alleged possession of marijuana under 50 grams in a motor vehicle and 
for allegedly spitting on the sidewalk. His friend, Deenia Sackie, 
21, was in the vehicle with him and she was also arrested on 
marijuana possession charges under 50 grams, public records show.

Charles on Thursday afternoon denied the charges, saying he had 
sneezed and that he had no knowledge of marijuana being inside his 
vehicle. "All they are trying to do is shut down the business," 
Charles alleged.

Forchion previously has written a column for The Trentonian about his 
efforts to legalize marijuana.
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