“Man Gets 5 Years for Growing Marijuana.” Asbury Park Press. 20 March 2010: A4. Print.
John Ray Wilson from Newark, New Jersey got convicted of second-degree manufacturing of marijuana and third-degree possession of psychedelic mushrooms and was sentenced on Friday March 19th, 2010. He was first arrested in 2008 after a National Guard pilot flew over his residence and noticed the plants growing in his backyard. The pilot notified the state police and Wilson was arrested after police found seventeen marijuana plants behind his home. Wilson suffers from multiple-sclerosis (MS) and claims that he was growing the marijuana for medical purposes. On January 14th, 2010, New Jersey’s governor Jon Corzine legalized marijuana for medical purposes. The law allows patients to purchase up to two ounces of marijuana a month from state-monitored facilities. Wilson has a criminal record that includes seven arrests prior to this charge. Wilson has gained the support of two state senators, they asked former governor Corzine to grant him a pardon. James Wronko who is Wilson’s attorney plans to appeal his five year prison sentence next week.
I think that the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes is going to help a lot of people that actually need it. However, with this case I do think that Wilson should go to jail. The legalization of marijuana allows prescribed patients to purchase marijuana through state facilities. The law does not allow people to grow their own weed in their backyard. Also, Wilson was arrested for growing the marijuana in 2008, almost two year before the law was passed. I don’t think that he should have to do five year because the crime was not harmful and he didn’t get caught selling the marijuana to anyone. He also got caught with psychedelic mushrooms and those are not legal so he should do some time just for that. I know that he has MS and under the new law he could be prescribed medical marijuana. However, the article did not state that he had a prescription for marijuana, and if he didn’t it would be illegal for him to even smoke the drug. There are many people in jail today that have marijuana related charges, is it fair to let him get away with his crime just because he has MS? Wilson’s arrest happened a long time before the law was passed and the new law shouldn’t be able to get him out of trouble for what he did.