The state of New Jersey has medical marijuana (MMJ) legislation on the books. So you would think that their patient’s rights would be protected. Eric Hafner, a MMJ patient, is proof that we need to think again.
Eric Hafner, a sufferer of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is facing charges for marijuana possession and paraphernalia. These charges originate from a traffic stop; because of a busted headlight, where Hafner was the passenger. The officer said he smelled marijuana and upon search found what was reported to be one gram of marijuana and a pipe.
“New Jersey is screwing up. This isn’t me doing anything wrong,” Hafner said Monday before heading into the courtroom. “I don’t blame the police for this. If you’re a police officer, your job is to enforce the law. But in this case the law is flawed and we need to fix it,” Hafner said. “This is not going to be in the legal realm forever.”
At the time of the arrest Hafner was a New Jersey resident but was living in California. Both states have MMJ friendly legislation. However, New Jersey has yet to create the programs and practices necessary for a successful MMJ industry. Also, NJ is having its patients wait two years before they will even consider adding other medical ailments, including PTSD. There’s not even a way patients can recieve a license to show to police their validity.
In 2010, Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation that would allow six nonprofit groups to grow and dispense medical marijuana in six regions of the state. Only one group in northern New Jersey has won local approvals while the rest struggle to find receptive communities.
Only one out of the six groups has received local approval—the rest struggle.
Hafner appeared in court Monday March 12, but his hearing was postponed by Municipal Court Judge Richard Thompson at the request of prosecutor Peter E. Warshaw Jr. because of paperwork that had yet to be exchanged. The new court date is March 27.
So—what can you do to help? Eric took the time to send some info to HMJ. You can find it below:
Make Phone Calls and Write Letters to the Editor to keep Medical Marijuana Patient Eric Hafner Free!
-Call Monmouth County, New Jersey Prosecutor Peter E. Warshaw Jr. at 732-431-7160 x7522 and tell him to drop the charges PTSD Medical Marijuana Patient, Eric Hafner is facing in Middletown Municipal Court. Tell him Eric Hafner is a patient, not a criminal.
-Call Middletown Municipal Prosecutor is Gerald Massell, Esq. and his phone number is 732-747-2626 and say the same.
CALL HIM ONCE A DAY, EVERY DAY! (He is the head prosecutor for the entire county, he is Middletown’s boss)
-Write a Letter to the Editor. Include your name, address and daytime phone for verification. Some press e-mails to send it to include email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure to cover these 6 points in your letter:
-Eric Hafner is a patient who suffers from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) not a criminal. The charges should be dropped.
-Next door to New Jersey in Delaware, PTSD patients are clearly protected.
-Eric Hafner is a legal medical cannabis patient as per his California doctor.
-Medical Marijuana has been legal in NJ since 2010, but the state has failed to get the program running.
-86% of NJ voters support legal Medical Marijuana (Source: Rutgers-Eagleton Poll (11/2011)
-Requiring patients to wait two years before the state will add additional illnesses is absurd.
Photo via Redbank