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Philly City Paper

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Cannabis Sacrament Minister
Cannabis Sacrament Minister

Joined: 27 Dec 2003
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 6:37 pm    Post subject: Philly City Paper Reply with quote

January 8-14, 2004

city beat


More story, less words.

High Appeals
Turnout at last month’s Liberty Bell Smoke-Out was as low as the frigid temperatures, but that didn’t stop marijuana activists Ed "NJ Weedman" Forchion and Patrick Duff from making waves on Sat., Dec. 20.

With about 20 supporters and a handful of curious onlookers on hand for the event, the two blazed up a spliff at precisely 4:20 p.m., as planned. Though they cited their smoking as a Rastafarian sacrament for the "victims of the war on drugs," 14 armed National Park Service officers immediately confiscated the single jpint the two shared without using force.

After patting their suspects down and running background checks, officers saddled the men with $150 citations. (Upon seeing the tickets, one rally member asked whether this meant anybody could blaze up at Independence Mall, provided they had $150 to burn. NPS spokesperson Phil Sheridan didn’t want to speculate, but hinted the fines could actually rise as the case wins its way through the judicial system.)

That isn’t likely to be the end of this weed tale, though. Attorney Michael Coard, who raised holy hell to draw attention to the fact that George Washington’s slaves once lived five feet from where the Liberty Bell now sits, videotaped the entire event and will represent -- pro bono -- a pair of men he describes as "21st-century patriots." He plans to base his defense around constitutional freedom of religion law.

"It’s not about Ed. It’s not about Pat. It’s about protecting our civil rights. They just happen to be Rastas," says Coard, who’s confident the charges will disappear before trial. "It could be Christians during Prohibition that some politicians would not allow to drink wine during communion."

From here, Duff says plans are in the works for yet another smokeout at the Liberty Bell on Jan. 24. "I hope more people show up," he says.

Once again, though, the NPS will be waiting. Says Sheridan, "There are boundaries to our rights under the First Amendment that do not allow individuals to break other laws."

Duff admits the events are publicity stunts designed to draw attention to political campaigns he and Forchion plan to launch. Duff’s eyeing an at-large Council seat in 2007, while Forchion will seek a U.S. Congress seat in New Jersey.

"I don’t have any illusions that I’m going to win," says Forchion, who once ran for Camden County (N.J.) freeholder, "but I want a significant amount of people to voice their opinions about the war on drugs. They can do that by voting for me."—Morris Bracy IV
Look up in the sky, It a bird, it's a plane, no it's Duffman taking a bong hit, He uses the smoke to relax his enemys into submitting.
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Rev. Chazman
Cannabis Sacrament Minister
Cannabis Sacrament Minister

Joined: 15 Nov 2003
Posts: 1120
Location: Illinois - USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another story from the trenches. Thanks for posting. I wish continued good fortune to Ed "NJ Weedman" Forchion and Patrick Duff on their fight for us all.

Dont blame me... I voted for Kerry!! And so did my home state.
THC-Ministry "we use Cannabis religiously and you can to"
Take nothing but memories, Leave nothing but footprints.
CDXX Peace Time IV:XX ** Rev.Chazman-Cannabis Sacrament Minister
Future King of Cannatopia ™ © 2004 Rev. Chazman all rights reserved
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