By Nicole Flatow
County prosecutors won’t let up on charging a Minnesota mom with child endangerment for giving her sick child medical marijuana. Angela Brown is headed for trial in a case that could send her to prison for two years, even though an already-passed medical marijuana law that goes into effect in 2015 would allow medical use of cannabis oil.
Angela Brown’s son Trey suffers severe pain and spasms from a traumatic brain injury. Brown said she tried a barrage of prescription medications before turning to marijuana, as her son was
in so much pain and discomfort that he cried himself to sleep and started punching and cutting himself. Brown, like a number of exasperated parents, traveled to Colorado to purchase some cannabis oil regulated under Colorado law. And she reported a familiar story of parents attempting to treat their child’s pain and seizures: within an hour of giving her son medical marijuana his condition was relieved. “Once it hit his system, Trey said the pressure in his brain was relieved,” she told the Huffington Post. “You could literally see the muscle spasms stopping. He felt amazing.”
But after Brown shared her story with the “wrong person” she was reported to officials, officials seized the cannabis oil from her home and charged her with child endangerment and causing a child to need protection.
“The prosecutor’s version of this is that a good mom allows her child to be in pain, to self-harm, and attempt to take his life,” she told Valley News Live. “I guess that’s a good mom in his eyes.”
Some 23 states now have medical marijuana laws, although they have varying limitations. Many like Delaware have seen delays in implementation due in part to the federal marijuana prohibition, and Minnesota is one of two states that doesn’t allow smoking even with a medical recommendation. More than 100 families like Brown’s have traveled to Colorado for access to special cannabis oil that is known for providing unique seizure relief. And other families have reported that they stopped giving their child cannabis oil after threats of prosecution. As CNN Chief Medical Correspondent said when hereversed his position on medical marijuana last year, “sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works.”
Other crackdowns have also continued. In June, Drug Enforcement Administration officials threatened to pull doctors’ licenses for recommending medical marijuana.
This week, Brown refused a deal in which she would have been given a one-year stay in her case in exchange for pleading guilty. She is circulating a petition to raise funds for her legal fees that has raised some $8,000 thus far.
“I didn’t give my son back alley pot. I gave him controlled medicinal cannabis,” Brown told KARE. “I want them to have compassion for a mother that was just trying to save her child.”