TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A marijuana advocate dubbed NJ Weedman has been arrested again on marijuana charges after law enforcement raided his restaurant and cannabis temple.
Ed Forchion was arrested Wednesday along with 10 other people after a raid of his business across the street from City Hall, officials said.
Forchion opened a restaurant, NJ Weedman’s Joint, and an attached cannabis church last year. He sued Trenton police last month, saying they infringed on his religious rights by shutting down the cannabis temple for staying open too late.
Acting Mercer County prosecutor Angelo Onofri said Thursday, April 28 that the narcotics task force had received information that Forchion was distributing marijuana and had received complaints from the community about “constant foot traffic in and out of the establishment at all hours.”
Police say they found more than 1,100 grams of marijuana, 32 grams of edible marijuana candy, more than a pound of marijuana butter and a jar with $85 in it that said “Nothing is free donate.”
Recreational marijuana is illegal in New Jersey.
Forchion wasn’t immediately available to comment Thursday. He said last month that many of his 600 congregants gathered in his temple late at night, some to smoke marijuana on a property that includes a large white cross festooned with ornamental marijuana leaves.
Forchion often campaigns for political office under the banner of marijuana legalization. And Forchion, who is black, has been on a long crusade in the courts, claiming that marijuana laws infringe on his Rastafarian religion and unfairly discriminate against black people.
He has spent time in and out of prison for marijuana possession. In 2012, federal agents in California raided his pot farm, confiscating 600 plants. He filed a petition last month with the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge his 2010 conviction for marijuana possession. Previous efforts in New Jersey’s state courts have failed.
The restaurant’s clocks are all stuck at 4:20. And the joint offers $4.20 specials that include the Fully Baked Burger. For $7.10, customers could get the Budz Nugz, grilled salmon nuggets over a bed of mixed greens.
The terms 420 and 710 are often used to describe marijuana and marijuana usage.
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