Michigan DHS Takes Baby From Home Due To Parents Use Of Legal Medical Marijuana

marijuana_leafThere 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.

The state law expressly states

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

52 thoughts on “Michigan DHS Takes Baby From Home Due To Parents Use Of Legal Medical Marijuana”

  1. GaryT,

    Do you have an alternative email address? Sometimes WP will eat mine. Try that…

  2. lottakatz, RobinH45:

    Well yeah I was definitely being fukt over, and no – in no way did I deserve this treatment.
    As I detail in the description to the video, I was in the middle of a custody case when they pulled me in for these charges.
    It is clear that they did this to enable the mother a huge advantage in the custody proceedings, even though none of these charges are within their charter to regulate. I eventually got that, and two other attempts to charge me by CPS, overturned on administrative appeal.
    If you want to read a full version of the story:

    (I have tried 3 times to put a link here to the article for the full story. WordPress fkn up again. I will try again. In the meantime, simply google “Missing Anya”, and the link to that article will show up, it goes to AVoiceForMen website)

  3. GaryT, One doesn’t even know to hear the voice of that supervisor, the body language tells me everything I need to know. You did not have a freakn’ chance. She has issues w/ men.

  4. Gary,

    I feel your pain… Everyone has made good points…how about this… Not sure of all of the details…

    Arrest Of Social Workers Bring Questions About Teen’s Murder
    September 24, 2013 9:39 PM

    alicia moore, Child Protective Services, cps, Girl Killed, greenville, hunt county, Hunt County Texas, Michael Moore, Murder Investigation, Teen Killed, Van Zandt County
    Featured Items

    NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – They are supposed to protect children when no one else can, but now a Child Protective Services (CPS) supervisor, along with a retired case worker and another woman are under arrest. All of he women are accused of tampering with evidence.

    CBS 11 News has learned the charges may be connected to an investigation involving the murder of a 16-year-old North Texas girl.

    All three women of the women, Laura Ard, Natalie Reynolds and Rebekah Ross, have bonded out of jail.

    Three Hunt County women have been arrested for tampering with evidence. The charges are believed to be connected with the murder of 16-year-old Alicia Moore, whose body was found stuffed in a trunk in Van Zandt County in 2012. Arrested are Laura Ard (L), Natalie Reynolds (M), and Rebekah Ross (R).
    Authorities aren’t saying much but this corruption investigation appears to have a connection to the sexual assault case involving Alicia Moore, who was kidnapped and murdered last year.

    At least two of the three women have current or past ties to CPS. Hunt County authorities say all of the charges involve tampering or fabricating evidence and one of the women faces an additional charge of official oppression.

    The family of Alicia Moore, who’s kidnapping and murder allegedly at the hands of an uncle made news last year, believes the arrests of the CPS workers may involve the teenager.

    Alicia’s aunt, Jessica Bird, said, “I was told it started with a caseworker and some files she dealt with.” According to Bird, one of the three women indicted, CPS Supervisor Natalie Reynolds, worked on a sexual assault case involving her niece.

  5. one more thing Gary there is supposed to be a 90 day investigation before the removal of your child.and the removal is only supposed to happen if you refuse to perform the tasks that they assign you to so you can prove to them complete strangers that you are fit to be a parent. so if the worker just walked in and removed the child. then you definitely need to get on the ball get that lawyer and file those papers before they dig up your life story and trust me they will..

    @ Mike S i would like to ask you a question if you dont mind? . before the issues of removal of my child. i was attending mapp classes to become a kinship foster parent until i found out certain things.anyway when they give you the papers to fill out why exactly do they want information from when you were 18 years old? .

    now the mapp classes i attended were 3 years ago and after finding out certain information that didnt sit right with me family member or not. along with the agency losing my fingerprints 3 times and mixing up my ex fiancees fingerprints with someone elses. i asked them why did they need information of where i lived when i was 18 nothing i did back then correlates to my life now and NO ONE COULD GIVE ME A ANSWER.

    i mean even if they could find my old landlords and employers from that time at the time of the classes i was 42. who in their right mind is going to remember me except for family and still close friends? hell i couldnt even remember the addresses just the street numbers. and i personally think there is something nefarious in them wanting that information.

    I found out later on they dug up a domestic violence case from that time when an ex boyfriend tried to kill me by slitting my throat one day before my 20th birthday. and they wanted me to give them information on him as if ive seen and talked to him since then. i couldnt believe it and they had the nerve to tell me. that case might work against me getting custody of my niece and nephew. smh i was 19 and barely made it to 20. how can something that happened to me 20 yrs ago effect me today? i lost my job behind the removal of my daughter. because apparently today if you get involved with acs,dhs,cps, whatever name they go by. you can’t work with children or the mentally disabled and i was working with the mentally disabled. when i asked what i needed to do to get that case sealed i was told it wouldnt get sealed until my youngest child turns 28 mind you she is 10 now. you tell me something is wrong within that agency that a case that should have been opened and i won. will stay on a public child registry record until my daughter turns 28. of course i pray i wont be but its more then likely i’ll be long dead before she even hits her teens.

    1. RobinH,

      The only real answer I can give you is that the system is screwed up and was from the start. Orphanages were created after the Civil War so that the children of the dead soldiers could be taken away from the mothers and so the mother could go to work. The rationale was that they didn’t want to destroy the widows “work ethic” by providing financial assistance and so removed the children. Can a system that began like that ever evolve into something worthwhile?

  6. whats pissing me off is this fat ass cow is sitting them telling him not to feed his child calories and sugar. and her ass hasnt missed a snack in 25 yrs. that chair is barely holding up one leg much less her whole body. sitting up there with 8 chins smfh

  7. @ Gary T if this just happened to you.. demand a mediated meeting right now.. also go online and write a email to the commissioner. tell him you want a different worker. and demand copies of all records. the workers attitude is that you dont know your rights. get a lawyer immediately also get a parent advocacy. that worker sat there and lied thru her teeth. and she is trying to beat you down for no reason.

    1. if you and your wife havent gone to court yet. for custody then you have as much right to the child as she does. and i would suggest the next time you get your child. refuse to return her. and file for custody immediately. do not tell them anymore of your business. they will do everything they can to use it against you.

    2. she had the nerve to question you about what you feed your child i dont know what state you’re in but go online and read up on your rights. in a mediating meeting they will have to prove to a facilitor what eminent danger the child was in that she she had to be removed from your custody. the worker is harping on you about the medicine because big pharma has a deal with the child services agency to medicate any and all kids they get in the system.

    3. todays workers are not the experts no one is a expert in child care THERE IS NO BOOK THAT WILL MAKE YOU A EXPERT. every child is different. please demand that facilitated meeting immediately. she is telling you that you have no business discussing side effects of medications with your child and that your wife does not have to tell you about the medications and YES SHE DOES. this worker is a ball buster and needs to be put in her place right now.. dont forget to write the commissioner and detail the reasons you do not want to work with this particular worker and what is happening in your case. that report will go in her file and will be investigated you can also get a parent advocate from the commissioners office… also report this worker to the director of the agency make sure you do it

  8. Seems like it is time to remove alot of power CPS has. They are like Nazis. There needs to be a much better appeal process before a child can even be removed. Exceptions being physical violence.

  9. a month after that the worker was replaced with a new worker who didnt feel a need to lie about weed roaches under radiators or empty beer bottles on the floor next to the garbage. hence everytime acs gets caught up in something. instead of changing their rules and regulations. they make it harder for us to be parents. and definitely harder for you to get your kids back if you dont know your rights…oh and right after the worker was replaced she and her supervisor were fired

  10. this story is just a small part of what acs is up to these days. 2 years ago i had to fight acs because of lies told by not only the school but by the worker they sent here to investigate. to bad for them i know my rights and it was easy to prove i was in the right and the worker and her supervisor were full of chyt. both got dismissed when i finished with them. the only thing acs cares about now is getting and keeping kids in the system to acquire more funding the hilarious part is the more funding they get the more services they cut out and the less workers, which is exactly why so many atrocities occur now.

    the school called in about my daughter being absent. which they were well aware of the reasons for her absences.. they had the doctors notes.
    my daughter caught strep throat 3 times in one year the last time with red fever. the minute the worker walked into my house my senses went off for trouble. so im walking her thru the house of which my daughter and i werent home that weekend we spent the weekend in jersey at my brothers house leaving my adult children and brother in the house….when we got home of course the house was a wreck but not to badly. anyway im walking her thru the rooms etc and we get to the living room and she says do you smoke weed? and i gave her the wtf look and plainly said no i havent smoked weed since i found out i was pregnant with my son 21 yrs ago. she says to me well i see a blunt under the radiator. so now im looking under the radiator and i dont see anything. she claims she sees it so i get on my hands and knees and had to dig deep under the radiator and out comes what is less then a roach. if you had tried to light it you would have burned your lips. she tells me your gonna have to take a drug test and i said sure lets go. she doesnt send me that day of course 2 weeks later i get the call to go take the test.. which i do. now heres where it gets hilarious. the worker didnt know i was in a outpatient program at the time because of all the stress i was going thru. so on the day i took a test for my program i also left the program and went and took acs test…. so please tell me how the outpatient programs test came back negative yet acs test came back with so called high concentrations of cocaine? something i never used. when i was on drugs back in the mid 90’s it was heroin and of course the battle began 3 weeks later. they removed my daughter on a friday night and had to return her monday afternoon…

  11. Sometimes I think with some CPS agents the Authority is their own Ego, and their weapon is the Child.

  12. “We’re from the government and we’re here to help the children.” More government means more intrusion and horseshit like this.

  13. Gary T, I have no idea what is going on in your life but I know, after years -decades – of work with bureaucrats and dicks (only appropriate word) when somebody s being f*cked over. You’re being f*cked over.

    Now, I concede you may deserve it, I don’t know enough about what is going on to assess that. but I sat in meeting like that. Not the same basis but the same tone and manner. I would leave a meeting like that feeling that my number one job was to get another, independent, look at what was going on. My system generally foreclosed that option being as effective as was needed.

    Watching your video was way more uncomfortable and familiar than I liked. It was unpleasant in the extreme. Like I said, you may find yourself in a hell of your own making, as some of my clients did, but still, I’m really unhappy with that meeting. I expect better of of alleged professionals, for your (and your child’s mother) sake and the sake of the child. There needs to be an independent review IMO. And woe be unto whoever is the problem.

  14. Gary T:

    My hat’s off to you for maintaining calm and being articulate in this CPS interrogation despite the agent (wearing purple) talking out her arse the entire time. Agent purple’s entire interview consisted of her wanting to beat you down and then making it seem that you were harming this chaild out of doing things that most parents do and topping it off by declaring that she was the expert in child rearing and that you had to tow the line by rehabilitating yourself by going to a parenting class to please the judge or else you would be in trouble.

    This bit of planting seeds in your daughter’s mind about weight will lead to esteem problems later? We’ll just because agent purple has self esteem problems because she is fat does not mean that anything she sees as being even remotely reminiscent of her life doesn’t mean it is illegal for another parent.

    This is so completely and totally typical of CPS, going after some parents who do things differently as if they were evil child abusers and when faced with a case involving repeated physical abuse they dance around the issue hoping it will go away.

    I hope your situation has improved since then and you will no longer have to deal with this gestapo.

    1. Gary,

      As a former CPS Supervisor, then executive my heart goes out to you. While I never compromised in respecting the rights of parents, as well as the needs of the children, I came across many workers an supervisors that did. There was a tendency in that field to be smugly abusive of parent’s rights and remain in denial of the horrors the State offerred as alternatives after removal.The upper executive levels of my own agency, the nation’s. largest, consisted mainly of political appointments, who did not understand the work or the mission. I was eventually blackballed from returning to that Agency because I wouldn’t go along to get along. It is a hell you are going through and I can empathise with your plight.

  15. Just to make a correction that tends to permeate these discussions. The use of marijuana is not “legal.” It may not be criminal under state law, but it remains illegal under federal law. I live in an agricultural area which is dealing with the effects of a poorly written medical marijuana law which creates some major problems. In the past year, alone, four separate deadly residential burglaries (6 deaths altogether) to obtain the owner’s supply of “medical marijuana” occurred.

    Of course, that does not address the issue of taking the child in this case. As a matter of constitutional law, illegal drug use is insufficient for removal-the court must find sufficient evidence of harm or risk of harm to the child. It seems unlikely that the agency would be able to show a greater risk of a violent intrusion due to her possession than if she maintained a supply of oxycodone, owned some valuable jewelry, or had a room full of electronic equipment. Of course, I haven’t seen any story that indicates the size of her grow. A County that has a judge or referee who “rubber stamps” removal petitions needs to do something about how their officers are appointed, and such a situation is not universal. In my county, the initial hearings involve experienced appointed counsel representing the parents and judicial officers who take their roles seriously.

  16. Gary T,

    Aren’t those folks the best to deal with… Who decided that the child had a Development Delays…. Does the Order or recommendation of the court say that, You don’t have a right to have have information….. Read what it says…. Who is the child’s GAL…. Call them and ask….

  17. What about CPS removing my child for bringing her to McDonalds, and weighing her on our bathroom scale?
    Prof Turley should make a blog article on my case, which is even more ridiculous than this one.
    See my stealth video being interrogated by CPS for this:

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