Jurors have found a Somerset County, N.J., medical marijuana patient not guilty of the most serious charge against him — operating a drug facility out of his home — reports Jennifer Golson of The Star-Ledger.
John Ray Wilson, 37, was growing 17 marijuana plants, which he said he used to treat his multiple sclerosis.
Wilson was found guilty of second-degree manufacturing and third-degree drug possession for the dried marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms New Jersey State Police seized at his rented home on Aug. 18, 2008.
Testimony in the case started Tuesday before Superior Court Judge Robert Reed, and attorneys delivered closing arguments this morning. The jury deliberated just before lunch and came to a decision about 4 p.m. Eastern time today.
|MS patient John Ray Wilson, left, and a supporter|
Supporters of medical marijuana and the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act pointed to Wilson’s case as an example of why legislators need to pass the bill, which they say would give seriously ill patients safe and structured access to the herb.
The judge had barred references to Wilson’s medical condition during the trail, previously ruling that personal use is not a defense. Judge Reed did relent, however, in allowing Wilson to make one reference to his disease.
Wilson was allowed to testify — once — that he told police he was not a drug dealer, but was growing the plants to treat his MS. No follow-up questions were allowed by the judge.
Wilson, who had no healthcare insurance, said he was using cannabis to help treat his disease. He faced first-degree felony charges of “operating a drug manufacturing facility” after a National Guard helicopter on a training mission spotted 17 marijuana plants growing in his back yard.