October 8, 2013 was a bad day for Scott Waselik. After being stabbed in the chest by his roommate, Kevin Rios, Waselik had to drive to a local police station for help. Once there, he gave the police his home address – reluctantly, he says – before being whisked off to a local hospital for treatment. Meanwhile, the cops were raiding his home, not only to arrest Rios but to charge Waselik with possession of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia.
Thankfully, a judge this week has some common sense and ruled that the cops didn’t have the right to go into the home in the first place and has tossed out all of the evidence against Waselik.
Cops say when they pulled up to the home shared by Waselik and Rios, Rios was in the driveway near his car with a bag of pot clearly visible in the trunk. Cops then illegally went into the home to clear it of any other criminals (even though there was no reports of anyone else involved whatsoever).
Inside, cops found the pot and paraphernalia. Cops say the buds didn’t come from a state-regulated medical marijuana dispensary and charged both men with possession, according to NJ.com. Rios and Waselik were both medical cannabis patients under the state program at the time.
That might have been the case, but it’s not relevant to the judge’s decision here. The judge ruled that the cops were overreaching when they entered the house since Waselik was on the way to the hospital and Rios was in custody.
Many medical cannabis patients in New Jersey have said the program is too burdensome and the cannabis in the shops is more expensive than what they can get on the streets. Patients have also cited the limited number of dispensaries and high cost of registering as reasons to continue to get their cannabis through friends or dealers.
During Waselik’s trial, supporters gathered outside of the courthouse and lit up medical cannabis to show solidarity with Waselik.
Check out a video interview with Waselik from New Jersey activist Sativa Cross: