Edward Forchion, the cannabis advocate known as “NJ Weedman,” is running a write-in campaign for New Jersey governor following a successful challenge of his nominating petitions by the Democratic State Committee, NJ.com reports.
Forchion, 56, previously ran for governor in 2005 but lost after getting just 0.4% of the vote.
According to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll, the race is Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s to lose, as 42% of respondents said they would “definitely” vote to reelect the incumbent, with 31% saying they would “definitely” back his challenger, and 21% undecided. The top challenger to Murphy is former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, a Republican.
Forchion had gathered 800 signatures—the required number to make the ballot in New Jersey under the Legalize Marihuana Party, with the slogan “#HOMEGROW $ALL”—electronically, which led to a court challenge against the petition. During a virtual court appearance on his petitions, Forchion said he couldn’t “compete with the power of the Democratic Party” and then proceeded to smoke out of a bong, the New Jersey Globe reports.
He would later tweet, “Have you ever seen a guy taking BONG rips during a court appearance? No, but ummm look now.”
Have you ever seen a guy taking BONG rips during a court appearance? No but ummm look now.
— NJWeedman (@NJweedman) June 15, 2021
Before leaving the virtual court appearance after announcing his petition withdrawal, Forchion would blow smoke at his screen, prompting Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey Rabin to accept his withdrawal, noting the candidate “left the hearing in a cloud of smoke.”
Murphy has been a strong supporter of adult-use cannabis legalization and ultimately signed the reforms into law. During the signing ceremony, Murphy called cannabis prohibition “unjust and indefensible.”
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