NJweedman, Marijuana Dispensary Owner in L.A., Can't Change His Name to NJweedman.com, Court Rules
Update: Mr. Weedman, in a comment below, says he will appeal the court's decision and continue his quest to change his name to NJweedman.com. First posted at 8:06 a.m.
You gotta love NJweedman, the L.A. pot shop owner who has much higher hopes than you do. He might have smoked a little too much OG Kush, but he soldiers on in his Quixotic attempts to bend the system to his will.
First he tried to sue the city of L.A., charging that it was infringing on his religious freedom (Rastafari) when it tried to shut down his dispensary. (Rastafarians, he said, have the religious freedom to smoke and share dope as "sacrament"). His latest move was to try to legally change his name to NJWeedman.com.
Denied. Big up for trying though:
California's second district court of appeal here in L.A. ultimately ruled last week that Mr. Weedman, a.k.a. Robert Edward Forchion, Jr., can't change his name to NJweedman.com because, the court argues, "the domain name, NJweedman.com, should not also serve as Forchion's personal name as long as he uses the Web site to encourage others to violate the law."
NJweedman.com, as a personal name, could not be fully understood without viewing the Web site of the same name. And NJweedman.com, the individual, would control the content of NJweedman.com, the site, which he could change without anyone's approval.
By "violate the law," by the way, the court means Forchion's pro marijuana stance, his tips on growing weed, and allegations he tried to influence jurors who would judge him in New Jersey. (You can read more than you ever wanted to know about NJ here).
But more than anything the California jurists believe that Forchion can't change his name to a ".com" because a .com is a distinct commercial entity on the web that can't always be controlled by or parallel a personality.
... Personal names and domain names should not overlap; they belong in distinct realms. Domain names were created for use on the Internet and should be limited to assisting a user in finding a desired Web site. By the same token, we should not treat a person as part of a domain.
It would have been much easier, Bob, to aim for N.J. Weedman. And we'd definitely know who you are. The guy who smokes too much and aims a little too, er, high.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.