A “cannabis church” has been shut down after reports that the temple, which is attached to a restaurant, was operating very late at night. However, restaurant owner Ed Forchion, who is also known as “NJ Weedman,” claimed that the Trenton police action has infringed his religious rights.
Forchion filed an injunction in the federal court just to keep the temple open after 11 p.m. According to him, that is the time when most of his 600 congregants come together, with some smoking marijuana, USA Today reported.
“Cannabis church” was cleared out by the Trenton police early Saturday due to the city ordinance which limits the hours of business operation, Trentonian reported.
Calling it a “midnight class”, Forchion claims to have grown up in a Baptist church where he had plenty of midnight revivals and services. He insists on having the similar rights as the Shiloh Baptist Church. He also campaigns for political office to legalize marijuana and has frequented the courts to fight for his claims that marijuana laws are discriminating the black people and infringing his Rastafarian religion.
The “cannabis church”, however, has been linked to a numerous complaints from the people in the area, citing some shots being fired, hence, prompting the police to clear out the temple.
While Forchion denied the allegations, the officers are also investigating if the temple is really a church or a business, due to the records found in the New Jersey Division of Taxation indicating that the temple has been registered as a for-profit entity. Yet Forchion continues to deny and claims that it is a subsidiary of the same temple that he used to own in California.
“Cannabis church” shut down, according to the NJ Weedman, is a needed distraction. The temple owner has filed for a petition in the US Supreme Court.