November 1, 2013

Child returned to parents after charges dropped

When Michigan passed the Medical Marijuana Act, it opened the doors for many to receive an alternative form of treatment for ailments. However, it also created a possible issue with state agencies whose role it is to protect children. When Child Protective Services feels there is an issue in a home, they have the legal authority to remove the child from the home, setting up a child custody battle between the agency and the parents. This is what happened with one Michigan couple; fortunately for the parents, the ending is a happy one.

The mother attained her marijuana caregiver certification in 2011 so she could better treat her husband’s severe seizures. After a neighbor’s home invasion in September, police were investigating and smelled marijuana coming from the couple’s home. Police attained a search warrant, raided the home and seized 29 marijuana plants. The mother was not home at the time of the raid, but upon providing proof that she was legally allowed to grow the plants, the matter was dropped.

Child Protective services was alerted to the activities of the parents, and decided to remove the couple’s child from the home, on the basis that they felt neither parent had a medical need for marijuana and that they were creating a dangerous environment for their daughter. The child was placed with her grandparents.

After two month of negotiations between the parents’ attorney and the judge, and providing proof that both parents had conditions that were diagnosed by physicians who agreed that medical marijuana was the most viable treatment, the child was allowed to return home. However, there are stipulations. Both parents have to attend a 30-day parenting class. There are other undisclosed provisions, but if the parents meet these obligations then the entire matter will be dismissed.

Child Protective Services serves an important purpose, but it is easy to get caught up in the system. Anyone who finds themselves locked in a battle for custody of their children should speak to a legal professional experienced in child custody cases. These individuals can help guide parents through the process of retaining custody of their children.

Source:, “Baby Bree’s dad grateful she’s back: ‘I would die for Bree, but I don’t think I should have to choose that’” Jay Scott Smith, Oct. 25, 2013