Kellen Winslow Jr. pleads not guilty to synthetic marijuana charge

HANOVER -- Jets tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. did not appear in municipal court for a hearing here Thursday morning, where two of his attorneys entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf to a charge synthetic marijuana possession.

Winslow, 30, of Madison, was arrested back in November after a woman called police to say she saw him masturbating in his vehicle in a parking lot outside the Target on Route 10 in neighboring East Hanover. Winslow was not charged with lewdness, but police allegedly did find synthetic marijuana in the vehicle.
Winslow's publicist would later say Winslow was just changing his clothes.

Winslow was scheduled to appear before judge Vincent A. Pirone on Thursday, but he's on the west coast with what was described in court as a "medical issue" that will prevent him from flying for the next two weeks.

Winslow's attorney, Jason Meisner of Morristown, told judge Pirone that attorney David J. Blair of Colorado would also be handling Winslow's defense.

After the hearing, Blair declined to address any specifics about the medical issue.

The next hearing in the case was scheduled for March 13. Judge Pirone made it clear to Winslow's attorneys that Winslow must be present for that hearing.

Winslow was formally charged in late December after lab tests confirmed he allegedly possessed the synthetic weed, which he allegedly told the arresting officers he used because the NFL tests players for actual marijuana.

The executive director of the NFL's players' union said Winslow should not face any discipline from the league because synthetic marijuana is not listed in its drug policy as a banned substance.

A 10-year NFL veteran, Winslow has played just one season with the Jets. He is scheduled to become a free agent when the 2014 league year begins next month.

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