“I’m not going to stop doing what I’m doing,” says medical marijuana advocate Eric Hafner. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Among those cheering at the Statehouse when New Jersey’s law allowing medical marijuana passed in January, 2010 was Eric Hafner, an 18-year-old who found in cannabis what he did not in prescription drugs: relief from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) brought on by a “traumatic, horrifying” incident two years earlier.
Two years later, however, the law has yet to be implemented, and Hafner is a facing a charge of possessing less than 50 grams of marijuana as a result of an early-morning traffic stop in Middletown in late November.
But even though the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act as written would not have protected him from prosecution had it been put into effect, Hafner says he will not plead guilty, as is customary in hundreds of such busts that go through the municipal court each year. Instead, he says, he’s prepared to go to jail to protest what he believes are the law’s shortcomings and to assert what he says is a constitutional right.
“I’m not going to plead guilty to using my medicine,” he says.