When Billy Fisher asked the state of Washington for help in removing his infant daughter from a dangerous living situation while in the care of her mother, he never imagined that CPS would place his child into foster care because of his use of medical marijuana.
Washington State has had a medical marijuana law for 15 years that includes protection of parental rights, not to mention that Washington voters passed an initiative to legalize adult recreational use last year.
But despite these laws, the state has demanded that Billy quit using his medicine, attend 30 days of inpatient cannabis dependency treatment, and complete a two-year outpatient treatment program for his marijuana use before they will even consider giving him custody of his one-year-old daughter, Lilly.
Any parent would be tempted to concede to the state’s demands in hopes their child would be allowed to go home. This would seem especially tempting for Billy, since the state has already begun talking about putting Lilly up for permanent adoption.
Billy, however, is refusing to back down because he believes that the Fight for Lilly Fisher is about more than a parent’s right to choose a nontoxic medication. It’s about more than the state’s responsibility to uphold state law. It’s about the fact that medical marijuana usage does not harm our kids and that patients are not inherently bad parents. It’s about protecting the rights that all parents should have: to enjoy having a family without governmental interference unless there is evidence of risk, abuse, neglect, or harm. These facts must be acknowledged for justice to reign supreme.
There are many more heartbreaking stories of children being torn from their families, their lives dragged through the hell of the family law court system, and some even lost to their families forever through forced adoption, all because family protection agencies, court systems, and specialists refuse to realize that marijuana is not dangerous and does not present the immediate harm required by law to remove a child from their family.
The most heartbreaking consequence of these situations is that children are being thrown into the homes of strangers, away from everyone and everything they know and love. Immediate harm is required by law to remove a child from his or her home. The science and toxicology of cannabis have proven that cannabis is NOT harmful. But surely, ripping families apart is.
Child Protective Services has unchallenged authority to remove children or deny placement with their families because of marijuana use, often even contradicting state law as in the case of Billy and Lilly Fisher.
This will not change on its own. It is time for us to stand together and demand change of these archaic, inhumane, and destructive policies. Numerous chapters of Moms for Marijuana International and several other local cannabis activist groups have coordinated rallies to protest against CPS involvement in the lives of cannabis consumers and demand the return of these babies to their parents.
Coordinated rallies are scheduled for November 12, 2013 in the following locations:
Berlin, Germany• San Francisco, California Denver, Colorado • Colorado Springs, Colorado • Atlanta, Georgia • Boise, Idaho • Annapolis, Michigan • Detroit, Michigan • Las Vegas, Nevada • Medford, Oregon • Portland, Oregon • Austin, Texas • Houston, Texas • Seattle, Washington • Spokane, Washington
If you are disgusted about families being torn apart because of the ignorance of state employees and their unwillingness to uphold state law, now is the time to become engaged in this struggle. We need you. Whether you are a representative of a cannabis related group or just an individual unsure how to get involved in the movement, November 12 is your chance to help us send a message to the nation about these archaic policies.
You can find out more about how to get involved through Moms for Marijuana International’s Facebook event.
You can also email email@example.com to coordinate with the people in your area, or to get help starting a rally of your own.
Individually we have little power, but united by a shared vision of a just system and equitable family rights, we can effectively change this broken system and end this war on families. By spreading cannabis education, awareness, and discussion, these outdated laws and inhumane practices will finally be addressed and reformed. Many of us work endlessly to help combat the stigma that surrounds this extremely beneficial plant, but it is only through unity that our voices will be heard.
Sadly, there are many families currently struggling for custody of their children.
Daisy Bram and her partner Jayme Walsh are medical marijuana patients fighting for their three boys in California:
Bree Green was removed from her parents care because they are medical marijuana patients, growers, and activists:
Ladybud Magazine coverage by writer Maggie Volpo: Court-Ordered To Suffer: Michigan Epilepsy Patient Denied Medicine By Courts, Child Removed From Care
LINDSEY AND JOSH RINEHART, SARAH CALDWELL
Lindsey and Josh Rinehart, and Sarah Caldwell had to fight for their kids in Idaho because they are marijuana activists: https://www.facebook.com/idahothree
Ladybud Magazine coverage by Angela Bacca: Lindsey Rinehart: “My Children Were Taken From Me Because I Am An Activist” ; Diane Fornbacher: Medical Marijuana Activism & Parenting: Risky Business; Lindsey Rinehart: A Message To My Precious Boys
Melanie Way and her family fought for their 4 children in Oregon because she is a medical marijuana patient: https://www.facebook.com/freemelaniesbabies
Arguably, the most tragic case is Alex Hill in Round Rock, Texas, who was taken from her father for his use of Marijuana while she was asleep in another room. Alex lost her life at the hands of her foster mother: https://www.facebook.com/justiceforalexhill