Steve and Maria Green watched in terror last year when Child Protective Services removed 8-month-old Baby Bree from their Lansing home.
Today, as Baby Bree turns 1, Maria Green is now fighting for the right to see her 7-year-old son.
The reason: They use state-approved medical marijuana.
Maria Green’s ex-husband is trying to deny Maria parental rights to her 7-year-son by saying that she and her husband are “ringleaders of a small separatist group within the Michigan Medical Marijuana Community” because they are involved in a pot advocacy group, The Human Solution, which does not promote anything illegal.
So what’s the deal? A staunchly anti-marijuana judge is largely ignoring the rights of patients under the medical marijuana measure that was passed by Michigan voters in 2008.
After the Greens successfully fought for the return of their baby, Jackson County Circuit Judge Susan Beebe has shown little urgency in responding to Maria’s request to see her son, whom she has seen once since June 2013.
“It seems like this is never going to end,” Steve Green, who uses marijuana to treat epilepsy, told me. “It tugs at our heartstrings.”
Experts on marijuana law say cases like this are far too common.
“The failed drug war is being waged in family court,” said Charmie Gholson, founder of Michigan Moms United to End the War on Drugs. “I urge everybody who cares about this issue to spend some time in their local courtroom to witness the madness that goes on.”
Steve Green suffers from severe epileptic seizures that no medicine has been able to relieve, except for marijuana, he said. Maria Green has multiple sclerosis.
Although they had a license to grow cannabis, they were charged last year with a four-year felony for manufacturing marijuana after authorities found them growing pot. But a judge later dismissed the case and ordered the return of Bree because the Greens were state-certified medical pot users with the right to grow marijuana.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.