NJ Editorial Seeks Pardon for Medical Marijuana Defendant

The Newark Star Ledger joins two state senatorss and goes to bat today seeking a pardon for John Ray Wilson, a MS patient busted for growing 17 pot plants behind his house. He's facing 20 years. Prosecutors offered hin 3 to 9, which he turned down. The paper ends with:

Sens. Nicholas Scutari and Raymond Lesniak (both D-Union) have asked Gov. Jon Corzine to pardon Wilson, who declined an offer to plead guilty in return for a three- to nine-year sentence and is scheduled to go on trial Dec. 14. The senators want Corzine to throw out the first-degree charge, so Wilson can enter pretrial intervention on the lesser offenses. They have called the charges "inappropriate" and an "inhumane application" of the law.

Dude, they’re right, this is totally bogus.


With the Legislature probably close to passing a bill that permits medical marijuana use, pardoning Wilson from the serious charge makes sense. Otherwise, the state could spend tens of thousands of dollars to try this case and possibly throw this guy in prison, where it will cost us even more money.

What are we, high?

In the Denver Post, attorney Rob Corry has an op-ed, Stop the Madness. He points out that the Colorado Constitution legalizes "acquisition, possession, manufacture, production, use, sale, distribution, dispensing, or transportation of marijuana" for medical use."

< Second Circuit Rules Against Maher Arar in Kidnap-Torture Suit | Oral Argument Set In Roman Polanski CA Appeal >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Corzine could help his... (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 02, 2009 at 02:07:15 PM EST
    re-eclection chances with a quick pardon here...hopefully if doing the right thing ain't enough for him, improving his chances to remain gov is.

    I'm finding it too much of a coincidence (none / 0) (#3)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Nov 02, 2009 at 03:08:55 PM EST
    that a helicopter just happened to notice a mere 17 plants in someone's backyard while on an unrelated mission.

    This marijuana fascination our punishment forces have is really getting out of hand.

    If they convict (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jen M on Mon Nov 02, 2009 at 04:51:29 PM EST
    Will the prison have to provide him with Marijuana?

    marinol, perhaps? (none / 0) (#5)
    by diogenes on Mon Nov 02, 2009 at 06:18:36 PM EST
    Perhaps a trial of marinol if he REALLY needs it; after all, prisons are smoke-free.

    While marinol (synthetic THC) (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Nov 02, 2009 at 11:27:33 PM EST
    is as good as herbal cannabis for SOME afflictions, tests conducted in the UK by GW Pharmaceuticaks found that the relief from spasticity in MS patients came only from the combination of THC and cannabidiol (CBD), anouther of the plants' active compounds.

    GW has patented "Sativex' a whole plant extract from cultivars high in CBD, and it's available by prescription for MS in Canada, among other places, but not as of yet in the US.


    One would hope... (none / 0) (#8)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Nov 02, 2009 at 08:56:58 PM EST
    ...that Solvay sends a little something along in mail for all the product placement.

    A cannabinoid dose-related "high" (easy laughing, elation and heightened awareness) has been reported by patients receiving MARINOL® in both the antiemetic (24%) and the lower dose appetite stimulant clinical trials (8%).  Other frequently reported adverse events in MARINOL® clinical trials included abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, euphoria, paranoid reaction, somnolence, and thinking abnormal.

    Isn't it odd that the "frequently reported adverse events" are some of the very "events" that natural marijuana treats--like nausea and vomiting.  


    This operates on a bunch of levels beyond (none / 0) (#7)
    by scribe on Mon Nov 02, 2009 at 06:41:10 PM EST
    what the commenters have put up so far.

    1.  Lesniak is one of the chief Democratic powerbrokers in NJ and has been for easily 20 years.  He is, in all but name, the head of the NJ Democratic party.  He was the patron of Jim McGreevey and the first pol to whom McGreevey came out.  (FWIW, the conversation was reported to have been McG:  "Ray, I think I'm gay."  L:  "WTF do you mean, 'think'?"  And it went downhill from there...  But, I digress.)

    2.  Union County is the same county where Christie was dreiving when he went the wrong way on a one-way street and collided with the motorcyclist, then was whisked off to the offices of his former law firm.

    3.  Prosecutors in NJ are in charge on a county-by-county basis, and are technically subordinate to the AG.  But, the AG does not get involved, and leaves running law enforcement to the county prosecutors, unless there is a very good reason for the AG to do so.  Such as a conflict of interest or something similar.  Contrary to what the commenter above posited, the AG is not running this oprosecution unless the AG superseded the county prosecutor - something I doubt.  It's just a run of the mill dope case.

    That said, Union is a county with cops and prosecutors who make a point of being "tough" for toughness' sake.

    4.  Also, post-Booker and all the sentencing cases which came out of the S.Ct. in the last couple years, the whole idea of a range of sentences in NJ is pretty obsolete.  The presumptive sentence - which is the middle of the range - is what the exposure maxes out as.  Figure 15 years exposure on the first-degree charge.

    This whole drama has the distinct aroma of some sort of really obscure political gamesmanship the point of which escapes me.  Unless the defendant or his family have some extraordinary level of pull.  That would explain a lot - even on election eve.