Friday, March 19, 2010

NJ MS patient: 5 year sentence for growing marijuana

New Jersey Multiple Sclerosis patient John Ray Wilson was sentenced to 5 years in state prison today for growing 17 cannabis plants to treat his condition.

His attorney, James Wronko, said that an appeal is being planned.

Judge Robert B. Reed passed the sentence today as his mother and grandmother wept just a few feet away. John’s younger brother, who is confined to a wheelchair, was also in the courtroom.

Judge Reed mentioned the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act several times during the hearing, acknowledging that the state now recognizes marijuana as an effective treatment for MS. The law was signed on January 19, 2010.

Wilson was prosecuted by the State Attorney General’s Office, who had asked for a 7-year prison term.

NJ superior Court Judge Reed took pains to explain that he was exercising the greatest leniency in accordance with the law.

Members of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey (including this correspondent) were in the courtroom today along with Wilson’s family.

READ MORE from Chris Goldstein

Related media coverage
Star-Ledger- Franklin man with illness gets five years for growing marijuana

NBC New York - MS Patient Gets 5 Years in Prison for Growing Pot - Franklin man with MS gets 5 years for growing pot for medicinial use

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