North reports..

Some marijuana activists go to the New Jersey Statehouse to try to pass a legalization bill. Ed Forchion went there to get arrested.

Forchion, better known as NJWeedman, sold and smoked marijuana outside the statehouse and blew smoke at state troopers outside Gov. Phil Murphy’s office, his latest publicity stunt in nearly two decades of trying to lift New Jersey’s ban on the drug.

With police just feet away, Forchion sold marijuana to about 10 people outside the seat of state government. Inside the building, lawmakers did not act on legislation to allow adults to use marijuana without medical conditions, and Senate President Stephen Sweeney conceded that lawmakers would not meet his September deadline to pass a bill.

“Hey buddy, we’re selling weed out here!” Forchion called out to a man walking outside the statehouse. “Twenty bucks!”

In front of Murphy’s office, Forchion lit up a joint as a state trooper watched him. The trooper did not arrest or cite Forchion, but rousted the activist and about a dozen others in his entourage from outside the governor’s office to a spot down the street. Forchion wore an orange “Mercer County Correctional Center” jumpsuit.

Forchion practically dared the troopers to arrest him, while others in his entourage urged him to comply with orders. Forchion has been free for just four months after more than  a year in prison for a case that stemmed from an investigation of his Trenton restaurant, NJWeedman’s Joint, that police suspected as a hub for drug sales. Prosecutors charged Forchion with witness tampering for alleged threats he made against a confidential informant who had helped police.

The four troopers who intercepted Forchion and his entourage outside the statehouse refused to arrest him, with one saying they would not play along in a publicity stunt. Instead, they asked him to take his weed sales off state property.

In an interview as he walked toward Murphy’s office, Forchion said he was trying to draw attention to racial disparities in marijuana arrests under New Jersey’s current marijuana ban, as well as what he called continued preferential treatment for white entrepreneurs in the latest bill to legalize weed. The bill would restrict marijuana sales to businesses that are licensed and taxed by the state. It would not allow people to grow their own drug.