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Maryanne Godboldo is not a medical marijuana patient, and she is not using cannabis to treat her teenage daughter’s medical issues. However, her legal battle is one that every parent, especially those who use medical cannabis for their own treatment or the treatment of their children, should be following. She is facing criminal charges for a fifth time for taking her daughter off of an ineffective, dangerous psychiatric drug.
Maryanne’s daughter, Ariana, suffered from a severe vaccination reaction at the age of 11. She went, in short, from being a healthy young girl with a mild physical disability to having psychiatric issues. When Ariana began displaying serious, negative reactions to one of her medications, Risperdal, her mother began doing everything in her power to discontinue the medication (something she had always been told was within her rights and had a letter from the doctor attesting to her right to do so).
Child Protective Services became involved, and when they attempted to remove Ariana from the home, a standoff ensued. Maryanne’s daughter was placed in foster care, and she was hauled off to jail like a criminal, despite never having had a criminal charge before in her life. Her family, including her sister (her daughter’s aunt) were not told where she was for long periods of time and had to fight for the right to see her. During her time in foster care, the child was sexually abused and contracted an STI. She was treated for the STI, but the fact remains that the state has proven to be far more negligent in its care of this girl than the biological mother, who was simply trying to make an informed medical decision for her daughter.
Now, Maryanne will have to face charges a fifth time for the same charges, as the prosecutor is appealing the dismissal of the charges against her. Because the case has never gone to trial, these continual court proceedings are not considered double jeopardy. Essentially, Maryanne Godboldo’s entire life has been placed on hold indefinitely, with the State of Michigan holding her future (and the future of her daughter) hostage in an attempt to establish that parents can’t choose to discontinue a dangerous, ineffective medication.
Parents often have to make difficult decisions, and some of the worst difficult decisions are medical in nature. Maryanne was faced with the decision of continuing a medication which, at best, would offer some minor alleviation of her daughter’s symptoms or at worst make her much worse, possibly kill her. She made a decision that she believed (and continues to believe) was in her daughter’s best interest. When the state came to kidnap her daughter, she demanded paperwork and then refused to let them take her child without evidence that they had a court’s approval to do so. All she has ever done is defend herself and her daughter against serious threats of harm.
Given that there are allegations of a gun being fired during the standoff, the state was well within its rights to bring charges against the person they believed was responsible. However, when the charges have been repeatedly dismissed, when the alleged crime had no victim, and when the person accused with said crime has suffered grievous injury as a result of their charges (her daughter’s assault while in state custody), one has to question the motive behind pursuing charges against this mother. Her ongoing prosecution seems like a personal vendetta; after all, the citizens of && county aren’t screaming for her immediate incarceration. She presents no threat of danger to her community; if anything, she is a valuable community member, full of passion, love, and hard-won advice on dealing with the state.
So why does Kym Worthy, the county prosecutor, have to gain? The Justice for Maryanna Godboldo campaign is asking concerned citizens to call Kym Worthy’s office and politely ask them to reconsider charging Maryanne. The number for her office is (313) 224-5777.
You can follow the Justice for Maryanne Godboldo campaign on Facebook here. You can also take action by donating funds to her defense account here or by calling the county prosector, Kym Worthy, and letting her know that she’s wasting the money of Michigan taxpayers in this endless prosection and persecution of Maryanne Godboldo.
For previous Ladybud Magazine coverage of the Maryanne Godboldo case, click here.