Some sad news out of New Jersey today. We have been following the case of multiple sclerosis sufferer John Ray Wilson, who was arrested for a few plants in his back yard in 2008.
Wilson said he did not have insurance and could not afford the MS medication to treat his symptoms. Conventional prescription medication to treat MS symptoms run upwards of $3000/month. He said that he was growing the small amount of marijuana to try and treat his condition.
As New Jersey Legislators hammered out a medical marijuana provision in New Jersey, John Ray Wilson was not allowed to say anything about his illness during his trial, or tell the jurors that he used it medically. He was found guilty and the 38-year-old man was sentenced to five years in prison.
He appealed that decision saying that he was entitled to a personal use defense and that he should have been allowed to tell jurors that he has MS. He also was appealing saying that the five year sentence for the amount of cannabis he had in his possession was excessive.
The court ruled in the state’s favor, saying that they couldn’t find abuse or error of judgement by the trial court. His last line of defense was to take his case to the New Jersey Supreme Court. We now have word that they have declined to hear Mr. Wilson’s case and will let the appeal court decision stand.
Mr. Wilson will spend the next five years in prison. Under current New Jersey state law, multiple sclerosis patients can qualify to use cannabis, even the the program has yet to be in operation. If he were arrested today, John Ray Wilson would at least get to use a medical defense.