February 7, 2016

New Jersey MS Patient Appeals Marijuana Cultivation to State Supreme Court

Attorney Bill Buckman at the PhillyNORML Freedom Forum 2009

8/16/2011 – Criminal defense attorney William Buckman of Moorestown, NJ has filed an appeal to the state’s highest court for John Ray Wilson. The 38 year old man was convicted on the second-degree felony of “manufacturing” marijuana for growing seventeen cannabis plants.  Last month an appellate court upheld Wilson’s 5-year prison sentence, saying that he could not claim that the plants were for “personal” use.

John Wilson lives without healthcare and battles the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. His conviction in January 2010 came just as the Garden State’s compassionate use law was passed. However, it was the first medical marijuana law in the country that continues to prohibit home cultivation.

In a press release today Buckman said, “New Jersey already has some of the most draconian laws in the nation with respect to marijuana, costing taxpayers outrageous sums to incarcerate nonviolent, otherwise responsible individuals– as well as in this case — the sick and infirm.”

Local cannabis advocates have supported John, demonstrating in front of the Somerset County Courthouse throughout his trial.

Ken Wolski, the Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey said, “This case has shocked the conscience of the community. Wilson was unable to present his only defense to the jury–that he used cannabis to treat his multiple sclerosis (MS).”

NJ Governor Chris Christie lifted his suspension of the medical marijuana program in July. But the six Alternative Treatment Centers are not likely to open until 2012. The ATCs have millions of dollars in backing from powerful groups of investors.  They will farm thousands of cannabis plants and the sell the products to registered patients, including those with MS.

Wolski pointed out, “These ATCs were not available to John in 2008. Cultivation was the only way that he could afford to gain access. We hope that the Supreme Court will provide justice in this case.”

During his trial, Wilson testified that he told the NJ State Police that he was going to keep all of the marijuana. Wilson also described his medical condition to officers as they searched his home.

Bill Buckman is a member of the national NORML Legal Committee and the immediate past president of the NJ Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is a fierce trial lawyer who won a landmark case against the NJ State Police surrounding the the issue of racial profiling in traffic stops.

“As it stands, the case now allows a person who grows marijuana to be exposed to up to 20 years in jail, even if that marijuana is strictly for his or her own medical use,” said Buckman, “No fair reading of the law would ever sanction this result.”

William Buckman http://www.whbuckman.com

Read more at Freedomisgreen.com

IMPORTANT – Full Text: Department of Justice Memo on Medical Marijuana

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Chris Goldstein is a respected marijuana reform advocate. As a writer and radio broadcaster he has been covering cannabis news for over a decade. Questions?  chris@freedomisgreen.com





  1. Vierotchka says:

    “The ATCs have millions of dollars in backing from powerful groups of investors. They will farm thousands of cannabis plants and the sell the products to registered patients, including those with MS.”

    This is the real reason behind this scandalous imprisonment. I mean, they don’t want people to be able to grow their own medicine at little to no cost and effort when they can make millions on the back of patients.


  2. Chris in WI says:

    This is all about a safe plant that should be allowed for EVERY citizen not just the sick. It’s called freedom of CHOICE!

    However it absolutely will help neuropathic pain in ways opiates cannot and the government admits they know it by owning a patent on cannibinoids for their neuroprotective properties. The same government that lied and said cannabis kills brain cells.

    Re-legalize cannabis like yesterday or several decades ago sheesh! How long can these lies live on and why does the media not expose these lies? Do they make money from the same companies that want to continue prohibition? THINK America! Big pharma wants to figure out how to make huge profits on this plant. Look at sativax, why is big pharma allowed to grow cannabis and extract the oils to make a spray but this plant is still called an illicit drug when you vaporize the oils to better titrate the dose? People use inhalers and nebulizers to give someone medicine directly to the lungs so why is vaporization supposedly bad?

    It’s about the baggage smoked “pot” carries with it. Well just like racial intolerance America needs to be retrained to not call a cannabis consumer a “druggie”. They do far less damage then drunks but get far less respect for it. Why?


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