Madison, MN- A judge dismissed one of the charges faced by Angela Brown, a Minnesota mother who was initially facing two child endangerment charges for administering cannabis oil to her son Trey.
Brown and her attorney, Michael Hughes, had filed motions to dismiss the charges last December, arguing that there was not probable cause to believe that Mrs. Brown committed child endangerment, and had requested that the Court dismiss the charges in the ‘Interest of Justice’.
The state has claimed that Brown administering medical cannabis to Trey was “sale” of a controlled substance in violation of Minnesota law which justified the child endangerment charges. A press release from Hughes stated that the government claims Brown’s actions were “dangerous and injurious” to her son and that the government had also “openly threatened the Brown family with other legal proceedings if there was any future treatment with medical cannabis by the Brown’s son” in its brief.
Judge Thomas Von Hon ruled that Brown giving cannabis oil to her son was not the sale of a controlled substance. Van Hon did not dismiss the remaining child endangerment charge claiming that administering medicinal cannabis put Trey in danger, and soon a jury will decide if Brown’s decision to treat Trey actually constituted child endangerment.
“I am very thankful that the Judge agreed with us regarding Count 1. Clearly, this was not child endangerment based on a controlled substance crime. We understand the Court’s rational for not dismissing Count 2. As long as the County Attorney maintains their position that treating a 15 year old with cannabis oil is in and of itself ‘dangerous’, then that is a factual dispute that only a jury can resolve. The Minnesota state legislature and a majority of other state legislatures belteve(sic) that treating children who are suffering from certain diseases or injuries with cannabis is not only safe, but effective. We agree, which is why we will continue to fight these charges,” said Hughes. He also noted that Brown will be in need of securing medical experts to testify at the trial.
Angela Brown was charged last summer after staff at Trey’s school found out he was taking cannabis oil to treat seizures and severe pain he had been suffering from as a result of a head injury during a baseball game. Brown’s decision to treat Trey with cannabis came after trying several other treatment options that provided no relief to Trey. The state has since held onto its argument that Angela Brown has harmed her son by giving him cannabis; medical marijuana will be legal in Minnesota this July.
In a January 9 response to the government’s brief opposing motions to dismiss the charges, Hughes challenged the prosecution’s insinuation that Angela was reckless in how she was giving the oil to her son. Hughes stated that the cannabis oil given to Trey was “a one-to-one ratio (1:1) of THC and CBD oil, and according to the bottle had 150 mg of each” and that “CBD rich oil is not going to have the intoxicating effects that an oil that is rich in THC would have. Many medical cannabis patients seek to avoid the intoxicating effects of THC, but they need some of the pain relief properties of the THC. They get products that are CBD rich, like the one-to-one oil at question in this case.”
Ben Swann has reported on combinations of THC and CBD oil and its various benefits to people suffering from ailments such as epilepsy, Crohn’s disease and cancer, and has also reported on the federal government’s claim that cannabis is not medicine while holding two patents for its use of cannabinoids for medicinal purposes.
Hughes’s response went on to state that the Brown family had visited a laboratory in Colorado to obtain CBD-rich oil after being unable to find it in retail cannabis shops. The response stated that the oil was given to the Browns legally “from someone in Colorado who clearly cared about helping a family deal with a child suffering” from a severe injury. The response claimed that it is legal in Colorado to give away less than one ounce of cannabis.
State Senator Branden Petersen (R-Anoka) introduced a bill earlier this month encouraging the Lac qui Parle County attorney to drop the charges against Angela Brown. The bill states that “Angela Brown’s son has pain so intense that he has headaches, muscle spasms, and seizures, and has self-harming behaviors that have resulted in a broken nose, broken clavicle, and wanting to end his life”. The bill also states that Mrs. Brown attempted “all other options to help Trey cope with the pain, such as administering more than 19 different prescribed medications, dealing with his suffering for four months from a serotonin overload attributed to the prescribed medications”, and “following an emergency room visit where a doctor suggested medical cannabis, Angela obtained medical cannabis oil legally in Colorado.”
(Updated January 26th, 2014, 12:50 p.m.)