US NJ: NJWEEDMAN Cultivates Another Lawsuit URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v02/n1261/a01.html Newshawk: EDWARD FORCHION -aka- NJWEEDMAN (email@example.com) Pubdate: Thu, 04 Jul 2002 Source: Community News (NJ) Copyright: 2002 Community News Contact: INGCNews@aol.com Website: http://www.sjcommunitynews.com Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2291 Author: Hartriono B. Sastrowardoyo, staff writer Cited: http://www.njweedman.com/ (NJWEEDMAN) Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/pot.htm (Cannabis) Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/spirit.htm (Spiritual or Sacramental) NJWEEDMAN CULTIVATES ANOTHER LAWSUIT $5 Million, Change Of Venue Sought From Girlfriend And County Judges Like a dandelion on a well-manicured lawn, Ed "NJWEEDMAN" Forchion's newest lawsuit has arrived at the Burlington County Superior Court. This time he filed a $5 Million lawsuit claiming denial of freedom of speech and freedom of religion against his ex-girlfriend, Linda Holden, and Judges Maria Bell, John Almeida, as well as two other Judges. Citing that the Judges sit on a Burlington County Court, Forchion is also petitioning for a change of venue. ( Docket No. L-0001922-02 ) The lawsuit reiterates Forchion's defense that he is a member of the Rastafarian religion, which uses - emphasizes the use of marijuana in certain ceremonies as a sacrament. Therefore, he claims he has a legal right to use marijuana, laws regarding its use notwithstanding. Forchion also claims that espousing his beliefs to legalize its use caused Judge Bell to take away his visitation and custody rights to one of his daughters, Ajanea. Forchion has previously run for Burlington County freeholder and the U.S. Congress as a means to change the laws regarding the use and possession of marijuana. Early last month he was jailed for what he said was "legally protesting outside of the Burlington County Courthouse and giving interviews" to various newspapers. His defense also includes a briefing from the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals, which on February 2nd, 1996 ruled that Rastafarian defendants, as a defense against charges of possession of marijuana, should be allowed to show that they use marijuana for religious reasons. However, Judge John T. Noonan, Jr., writing for the court, stated that the government could challenge whether the defendants were really Rastafarians. "It is not enough in order to enjoy the protections of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to claim the name of a religion as a protective cloak. Neither the government nor the court has to accept the mere say-so." A May 2002 decision again ruled in favor of allowing religious exemptions to religious laws, including the smoking of marijuana - but only on federal land. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals ruling, though, only applies to California and the other eight western states under it's jurisdiction. The Court may be best known for its recent declaring of the recital of the Pledge of Allegiance as unconstitutional, stating that an atheist or holder of certain non-Judeo-Christian beliefs could see the phrase "under god" as an endorsement of monotheism.