This week NJWeedman received summonses in the mail for smoking inside a Trenton public building in violation of a city ordinance, and smoking in public in violation of state law. This was for his smoke-out stunt at the Trenton City Council meeting on November 5, 2015, when he lit up a joint with several others at City Hall in protest against the City Council refusing to vote on a non-binding resolution in support of marijuana legalization. NJWeedman famously called all the city council members “cowards” before he was excused from City Hall. No one was charged or arrested that night for smoking inside the building, but, as the Trentonian headline read from the May 19, 2016, article: “Trenton Police Charge NJ Weedman Six Months After City Hall Smoke Stunt.” Trenton Police Captain Edelmiro Gonzalez, who apparently witnessed NJWeedman smoking at City Hall six months earlier, signed the summonses against him. NJWeedman reported to the Trentonian that this served as another example of “harassment” from Trenton police. “I am under siege by the police department,” he said.
After the Trentonian wrote the article about NJWeedman being charged six months after the fact, the newspaper was contacted by police officials, who said the summonses were signed the day after the smoke-out and mailed via regular mail. Yet, police officials declined to comment on why no warrant was issued for his arrest over the smoke-out. NJWeedman, who was unaware about the smoke-out summonses until he was informed about it that week in court for his cyber-bullying case, thought the purpose was to make him unaware of the court dates for the summonses, which would lead to a warrant out for his arrest for not appearing in court. NJWeedman was quoted by the Trentonian again on May 20:“I’ve been in and out of the court system for 20 years and I completely understand how it works.” He continued: “If I missed court, there would’ve been a warrant from the City of Trenton.” NJWeedman’s attorney, Ed Heyburn, called the city out for applying “selective prosecution” against his client. (The Trentonian article was shared by the Media Awareness Project on May 21.)
NJWeedman calls this a pattern of persecution against him. He finds it suspicious that this case came up immediately after Trenton police arrested him three times within three weeks. Phil Charles, manager at NJWeedman’s Joint, was arrested outside the restaurant that same week on May 19. NJWeedman’s attorney Ed Heyburn is sympathetic to his case and is doing the work pro bono.