Michigan: Medical Marijuana Advocates Protest Removal Of Lansing Baby From Home
By Steve Elliott
Groups supporting Michigan's medical marijuana law are joining forces to protest the case of a six-month-old Lansing girl who was removed from her home after a complain involving medical marijuana use by her parents.
Dozens of people held signs and chanted "Free Bree" outside the Grand Tower in Lansing on Tuesday to protest the Michigan Department of Human Services' removal of Brielle Green from parents Steve and Maria Green, reports Ken Palmer at the Lansing State Journal.
"These are good parents, good loving parents," said Charmie Gholson, founder of Michigan Moms United, one of the groups organizing Tuesday's press conference.
The Green case is among dozens in which state case workers have ignored patient protections in the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act while trying to remove children from parents who are registered medical marijuana patients or caregivers, according to Gholson.
"There's nowhere to go when (Children's Protective Services) does this," Gholson said. "When they took Bree on Friday, that really was the last straw."
An Ingham County Family Court referee, acting on a petition by CPS case workers, on Friday ordered the infant removed from her parents' home because her mother -- a registered, legal medical marijuana caregiver -- had cannabis in the house, according to the groups.
The referee claimed the marijuana "creates a dangerous situation" because "someone with a gun could break in," according to Steve Green.
A DHS spokesman wouldn't discuss the Green case, citing privacy rules.
The CPS petition involving his daughter grew out of a custody/visitation dispute between Green's wife and her ex-husband involving another child, according to Steve Green. Maria Green's ex-husband filed a complaint with CPS claiming her home was "unfit for children," he said.
When case workers visited the home and asked to inspect it, the Greens refused to allowed them into their grow room without a court order, citing a provision in the medical marijuana law that says only one person can have access to the room, according to the Greens' attorney, Joshua Covert.
Case workers then went to court and asked for the child to be removed, he said. "That puts the parents between a rock and a hard place -- either you break the law or we take your children away," Covert said.
Bree has been placed with a relative, according to the Greens. A custody hearing is set for Friday before Ingham County Probate Judge Richard Garcia, according to court records.
State Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) and members of the Cannabis Council and the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) also spoke at Tuesday's news conference and rally.
(Photo of Maria and Steve Green at the rally: Lansing Online News)