John Ray Wilson, a Multiple Sclerosis patient from Somerset, New Jersey, was sentenced to 5 years in prison for growing 17 plants of marijuana the Star Ledger reports. Wilson’s case has become a hot bed issue amongst medical marijuana advocates, but there are a multitude of reasons medical marijuana supporters should back off his case.
Here’s the problem with Wilson as the fulcrum for the medical marijuana movement. Yes, he has MS, but he’s been getting high since he was 15, long before he was diagnosed. It would be hypocritical of me to count that against him, but I’m not a public figure in this debate.
Wilson has prior convictions on his record. “The judge also said he took into consideration Wilson’s four prior arrests, including a 2004 guilty plea for harassment.” Not sure what the harassment charge was for, but he had a rap sheet before he was seized, which automatically increases your sentence since you’re not a first time offender (as many marijuana cases are).
He was in possession of magical mushrooms, which aren’t a part of the medical marijuana cause. “Wilson, 37, of Franklin Township, was tried in December and a jury convicted him of…third-degree possession of psilocybin mushrooms.” Again, it would be hypocritical of me to hold the boomers against him, as I’ve indulged in their wonderful affects as well, but it’s another strike against him in this particular case
The worst part about Wilson’s martyrdom for medical marijuana advocates, is jurors acquitted him of “the most serious offense, first-degree operation of a drug-manufacturing facility.” So the jurors were lenient when it came to the charge that would have netted him additional time. Add all that up with the mushrooms, the prior convictions and the fact he started toking at 15, but wasn’t diagnosed for MS until years later, and you have a pretty crappy symbol for the persecution of medical marijuana patients.
The Judge who sentenced him “noted there are others who suffer from the disease who don’t resort to illegal behavior.” That’s a stupid reason because marijuana has been found to alleviate some pain in MS patients, but again, I just think Wilson is a bad example. Protesters, please look at ALL the information before deciding he’s going to become some rallying cry for the movement. There are plenty of other examples out there.