There is a case in Michigan that captures what many parents complain is a child protective system that strips away basic due process rights and at times defies both logic and controlling authority. There may be no better example than the treatment of Gordon “Steve” and Maria Green after their 6-month-old baby girl, Bree, was taken away from them. The reason is the determination that the parents have marijuana in the house. It was not hard for the case worker to find: the Greens have a right to medical marijuana protected under state law. That did not matter to the Department of Human Services however and their baby was taken away from their Lancing home.
You may recall the last time we encountered child protective services in Michigan when a professor lost his son and was banned from his house because the boy mistakenly picked a hard lemonade drink thinking it was just regular lemonade.
It appears that the Green case is one of dozens where caseworkers have said that parents can have medical marijuana under state law but must surrender their children. It is the type of problem discussed in a recent column on the rise of the administrative state.
When the caseworkers went to the home, they demanded to see the grow room, which the family refused (citing state law that only one person at a time could have access to such rooms). The DHS then moved to remove the child.
Sec. 8. (a) Except as provided in section 7(b), a patient and a patient’s primary caregiver, if any, may assert the medical purpose for using marijuana as a defense to any prosecution involving [marijuana], and this defense shall be presumed valid where the evidence shows that:
(1) A physician has stated that, in the physician’s professional opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition made in the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship, the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of [marijuana] to treat or alleviate the patient’s serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms of the patient’s serious or debilitating medical condition;
(2) The patient and the patient’s primary caregiver, if any, were collectively in possession of a quantity of [marijuana] that was not more than was reasonably necessary to ensure the uninterrupted availability of marijuana for the purpose of treating or alleviating the patient’s serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms of the patient’s serious or debilitating medical condition; and
(3) The patient and the patient’s primary caregiver, if any, were engaged in the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, delivery, transfer, or transportation of [marijuana] or paraphernalia relating to the use of [marijuana] to treat or alleviate the patient’s serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms of the patient’s serious or debilitating medical condition.
What is particularly alarming is that the petition from the Children’s Protective Services was granted by Ingham County Family Court referee to remove the child due to the marijuana in the home. These reviews are often perfunctory and judges often rubber stamp the demands of agencies. Steven Green says that the referee granted the petition on the grounds that “someone with a gun could break in.”
While not discussing the specific case, Dave Akerly, acting communications director for DHS, said that they must consider “what kind of choices (parents are) making that impact their kids.” In this case, the parents are presumably using medical marijuana to relieve pain. Notably, they would not be in any difficulty if they had a full-sized bar with hundreds of intoxicants in the home. Likewise, you could have an arsenal of legal weapons in the home without fear of the loss of custody. Clearly, if Green’s account of the preliminary hearing is correct, the family court judge could claim that people with guns could also break in from booze or guns or cash.
The article below reports that almost two dozen medical marijuana cases are being tracked by public interest organizations.
Source: Lansing Journal