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By this time next year, Angela Brown could be serving a two-year prison sentence for doing something that by then will be legal.
She has been charged with child endangerment for trying to ease her son’s pain with marijuana oil.
“No mother wants to have to medicate her child, but I was desperate,” the resident of Madison, Minnesota, told reporters. “He [was in so much pain he] didn’t want to live.”
The mother of three is facing the charges because she drove to Boulder, Colorado, to buy Cannabis or marijuana oil for her son Trey, who is 15. Trey has suffered severe seizures since he was struck in the head with a baseball three years ago.
The oil, she said, reduced her son’s pain, and she only took the action after regular medical treatment failed to help him. The problem: The oil is illegal in Minnesota, even though it’s legal in Colorado. It will be legal in Minnesota next year, too, but the mom said she couldn’t wait.
Lac qui Parle County Attorney Rick Stulz charged Brown with child endangerment and had the cannabis oil confiscated.
“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,” Brown told CBS. “I guess that’s a good mom in his eyes.”
Stulz’s action sparked controversy because it came right after the Minnesota state legislature legalized medical marijuana for patients like Trey, although it doesn’t go into effect until 2015. Brown could face up to two years in prison and a $6,000 fine if convicted. Stulz has refused to comment publicly on the case.
“I didn’t harm my child,” Brown said. “I really don’t want any other mother to have to go through this, and that’s why I’m putting myself out there. Because this is not me. This is absolutely not me, being in front of all of these cameras and having all these people converge into my life.”
‘I Can’t Explain the Pain’
Brown said she took the action because she was afraid Trey would have life-threatening seizures because of the injury. He also has severe headaches and spasms.
“It just hurts in my brain everywhere,” Trey said. “I really can’t explain the pain.”
“Within an hour of him taking it, we could tell a difference,” Brown said of the oil’s effect on her son. She told CBS it was “miracle in a bottle.”
Said Trey, “It stopped the pain and stopped the muscle spasms. It was helping me go to school until it then got taken away and then school was really hard again.”
Brown believes that teachers at Trey’s school complained to Child Protective Services after they found she was giving him marijuana. She also contends that the teachers had admitted that Trey was improving because of the oil.
Brown and her attorneys have asked the court to dismiss charges against her, KARE reported. Brown’s supporters are also planning to seek legislation to dismiss the charges and ask the state’s governor for a pardon.
“To go ahead and put this mother, who’s already dealing with her son’s tragic situation, to put her in this spot is unconscionable,” State Senator Branden Petersen, R-Andover, said. “Angela Brown did exactly what any parent would do.”
Petersen wants to write legislation to protect Brown.
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