Brian Powers is proud to be a Communist.
The U.S. Navy veteran, who served two tours of duty in the Persian Gulf, has his own online radio station in the basement of his red-painted home in the Avenel section of Woodbridge called New Jersey Revolution Radio dedicated to the socialist cause.
He's also a proud card-carrying medical marijuana user.
It was the combination of these two things that led to his November arrest outside the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick, when Powers was charged by Middlesex County sheriff's officers with smoking marijuana.
And that led to more charges, including resisting arrest and spitting in the face of a law enforcement officer.
But Powers, 43, isn't debating whether he smoked marijuana. Being a medical marijuana patient in New Jersey, he is permitted by state law to possess and consume the drug — even in public places.
"I was working in New Brunswick," he said. "I'm a community organizer, an activist. I've worked in the labor communities, I've done social justice work and all that kind of stuff — I'm a Communist."