Disabled vet fighting for NC medical marijuana appears in court

Published: Mar. 19, 2014 at 8:41 PM EDT
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UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A disabled Union County veteran who called police on himself admitting he was growing marijuana for medical purposes had his first day in court Monday.

Robert Dorr, who said he's willing to face jail time, did not show up at the Union County Courthouse alone. Other veterans who are also fighting for North Carolina to legalize medical marijuana came to show their support.

Robert Dorr did not have his day in court for manufacturing marijuana.

"The state has asked to postpone the case until April 8," explained Dorr about his first appearance at the Union County Courthouse.

His legal battle will take some time. And some veterans are so thankful Dorr put himself in the law's line of fire.

"Mr. Dorr is a very braved disabled veteran who had decided instead of hiding in the corner and use cannabis and feel like a criminal to let people know this is medicine," said Perry Parks.

Parks is a retired army veteran and served our country for 29 years.  He is also a member of the North Carolina Cannabis Patients Network, NCCPN.

"I use everyday. I did this morning, going to do it this afternoon, going to do it this evening," said Parks.

Dorr said he wants North Carolina's law banning marijuana for medical use to change.

"This is something that's unfolding around the country.  It's not about a person trying to make a point or prove he's right," said Dorr, "It's essentially this is how justice unfolds when there's been legislative error."

"We hope for jury nullification," said Parks, "Jury nullification has happened a lot across the country.  It's when the jury looks at the facts of the law and says yes he violates the facts of the law but he's not a criminal and we refuse to prosecute him."

The Union County Sheriff said a jury will have to decide whether to convict Dorr. They built a case for the District Attorney to prosecute.  He said his deputies discovered Dorr's in-house grow room.

Tom Harper is the president of NCCPN, a veteran and said he suffers from fibromyalgia and doesn't want to take pills.

"I've never been one for standing around like I've been hit in the head with a rubber hammer drooling and not just aware of things," said Harper, "The marijuana does not do that to me and it does help me rise above my pain."

The district attorney's office said they have no comment on Dorr's case.  The group of veterans at the courthouse said they'll be with Dorr throughout the legal process.

"Our goal is to make medical cannabis safe and legal here in North Carolina for anybody who needs it," said Harper.

The North Carolina Cannabis Patients Network said they hope to force the hand of state leaders by demanding a jury trial.

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