Sunday news: Vape van guy, phone poll- UPDATE

Update- July 10, 2017

Yesterday, GA had an extended Facebook exchange with a friend of Joseph Ruggiero ("FOJ")who claimed to have seen Ruggiero's Medical Marijuana card.

In the morning, FOJ denied having seen it:

That night, FOJ changed his denial about seeing the card to "I've seen it."

I could not "see the video posted."

So FOJ posted a photo of what appears to be a Medical Marijuana card in close-up with Ruggiero's name, address and photo, with a big thumb over other information.

Ah, it was FOJ's thumb!  

GA asked FOJ and a second witness who claimed to have seen his card to go on the record. FOJ declined, and the second witness went silent.

I asked FOJ for Ruggiero's number, then was blocked.

Let's recap. No one who claims to have seen the card will go on the record (with me) and the photo purporting to be Ruggiero's Medical Marijuana card held by FOJ can't be posted.

Why not?  If the card exonerates him, why not make public?

Anyway, there's the update; GA saw a partial pic of what appears to be Ruggiero's is license to possess weed legally.

Prior to his canonization as a Hoboken Free Speech martyr, this happened: "Drug charges for Hoboken man caught in anti-immigrant tirade video."

Joseph Ruggiero, the antagonist in the notorious 'Vape van incident' was busted on July 6...
 "...following Thursday's search and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, distribution of marijuana within 1,000 feet of school property and distribution of marijuana within 500 feet of a public park, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said yesterday."
Ruggiero is presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

What's fascinating is that in the hours before the news broke, the Vape Van episode was exhumed for Hoboken's mayoral race by some Reformers and the Dark Side tabloid, The Hoboken Reporter. 

Ooops!  The untimely arrest of Ruggiero for allegedly possessing weed with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of school property, forestalls the Vape guy's canonization as the living symbol of Zimmer/Bhalla overreach.

In fact, Zimmer/Bhalla's move to pluck this (alleged) bad apple looks prescient.

So, what's new?

GA read a comment posted by a friend of Ruggiero's this morning on Facebook.

Huh?  The cops learned Ruggiero had a "medical marijuana card" and was "let go on a summons" and "it appears that charges will be dropped"?

GA followed up with Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante; I asked him whether Ruggiero had a medical marijuana license, and was "only given a summons."

Chief Ferrante replied, "Under the new Criminal Justice Reform, 85% of arrestees are released on a summons to appear in court. Drug sales and Burglary are not deemed violent crimes. Only violent criminals, determined by a risk assessment are detained until trial. Summons is a Criminal justice term, it is not like he got a parking summons. He was arrested on multiple drug distribution charges. But instead of a high bail being placed on him, which would have happened prior to Dec 31,2016, arrestees proven to be non violent are released until their trial as they are innocent until proven guilty."

GA asked again, "Does he have a license for medical marijuana?"

Ferrante replied, "Not that I am aware of."

There you go, folks. Stay tuned.

For the record, the original Vape Van episode stemmed from a criminal complaint filed on May 6, 2017 against Ruggiero for "Harassment" and "Bias Intimidation".   Ruggiero's supporters,  some members of the public, and some bloggers framed the City's  punitive actions as clamping down on Ruggiero's First Amendment right to use 'hate speech'  in public.

Um... no.

Nobody loved the hate speech, but that was not the legal basis for the proposed revocation of the Vape Van's license.

Read statute § 146-8 Granting of licenses. There is a "good moral character" and "general history" clause. Ruggiero's 'general history' included dozens of parking violations, and termination for cause by Hoboken's Department of Transportation and Parking in November 2013.  Further, on May 6, a harassment complaint was filed against him with a viral video to back up the victim's version of events.  You see, there was a veritable smorgasbord of lawful reasons why his vendor's license was subject to revocation under Hoboken law.

The First Amendment argument was a straw man, albeit a popular straw man. That was, and is my opinion.  Let's save sainthood for Saints.

Have you gotten it yet?  GA hasn't.

But I have confirmed whose poll it is- Anthony 'Stick' Romano's.  The campaign is using a pollster called Global Strategies.

That's all for today... happy Sunday!


  1. Happy Sunday to you, too. I like the new look!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Thanks, Hoboken Guy. It's important to me that you peeps like the new format. About the poll, did you notice if there was mesage polling on all candidates (including Ravi). The person that reported poll questions to MSV did not mention that Ravi was message-polled, but noted the other candidates were. Curious. I don't know why Stick would omit him.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. i just got the "how much do you like nuclear power" push 1 if A LOT 10 if SUPER A LOT......jepers.....

  3. RE: the new format, I like seeing lots of past articles on the home page but not sure I love the look once you click on a story. It's all very spread out, kind of preferred the more condensed look of the prior design. But that's a minor quibble. And besides, it's the CONTENT that makes us come to GA, not just the design. ;)

    1. Thanks, me. That is exactly my issue with the new design. I'd like the post pages to be narrower. I can try to tinker with the HTML to fix- the Blogger template doesn't give the admin control of that- only on the home page. Maybe I can get help from Blogger. Appreciate the feedback.

  4. I miss the recent comments being available next to the current comments. Otherwise, I think this is great.

    1. Thank you snoopy! I know... this is one of Blogger's new templates. There are some really cool ones, but they are less user-friendly.

  5. There goes Romano's money for personal training at Crunch ..

  6. NJ has one of the most limited Medical Marijuana laws in the nation.

    Pain management is not an approved use.

    What debilitating medical conditions are approved by the program?
    A physician must certify that a patient has an approved debilitating medical condition to participate in the Medicinal Marijuana Program. Approved debilitating medical conditions include:

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
    Multiple sclerosis
    Terminal cancer
    Muscular dystrophy
    Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
    Terminal illness, if the physician has determined a prognosis of less than 12 months of life.
    The following conditions apply, if resistant to, or if the patient is intolerant to, conventional therapy:

    Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
    Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


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