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UPDATE: As of mid-afternoon on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013, the criminal charges filed against Steve and Maria Green in Oakland County (related to their legal medical marijuana growing operation) have been dropped. There has been no official statement as to whether or not this will affect the Ingham County DHS’s decision to remove their daughter from their home. A hearing has been scheduled for this Friday, October 4th, 2013, at 3:30.
Friday, September 13th, 2013, Steve and Maria Green, loving and devoted parents, had their cherished, healthy, well-cared-for infant child removed from their custody in direct violation of Michigan law.
They were informed the same day that Child Protective Services (CPS) was requesting the removal of their daughter due to their status as medical marijuana caregivers and related pending criminal cases.
With the support of many members of the community, the Greens arrived in court. They had to proceed without their paid legal representation, as he was over an hour away. Still, the Greens skillfully countered the claims of CPS.
Steve has epilepsy and had been using cannabis to successfully stop his seizures before the courts ordered him to go without his medicine. He and Maria submitted drug test records indicating both parents were not currently using medical marijuana, disproving the claim that the children had recently been exposed to cannabis.
In fact, after reviewing the evidence, the guardian ad litem expressed willingness to work with the Greens and keep their youngest child in the home
The judge, who explained that his bias was the result of a case years ago involving a firearm, ignored the recommendation of the guardian ad litem and ordered that the child, Maria’s six-month-old nursing daughter Bree, be placed in protective custody. In the judge’s opinion, being a medical marijuana caregiver makes a person’s residence a criminal target. This is in direct violation of Section 4(c) of the 2008 Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, which clearly says patient or caregiver status can not be used as grounds for removal of custody.
The separation of older children is emotionally damaging; for an infant, it can have permanent negative effects on the long-term development of the child. It is the equivalent of state-enforced child abuse. The Greens have experienced a miscarriage of justice (and a judicial overreach) that will impact their family for years to come.
After hours of uncertainty, Bree was placed with Maria’s mother. Her parents, however, may only visit her for three one-hour supervised sessions a week.
Michigan citizens, regardless of whether or not they are medical marijuana patients, need to speak up and insist our law enforcement officials and courts are following the law that we passed with a 63% majority.
We urge those Michiganders who wish to speak out against the illegal and inappropriate removal of healthy children from safe homes to attend a press conference in Lansing on Tuesday, September 17th at noon. The press conference will be held in front of the Department of Human Services (235 S Grand Ave Lansing, MI 48933). Attendees are asked to dress professionally and to omit any reference to cannabis or cannabis imagery from their signs, as the focus is the removal of the child.
If you aren’t in Michigan, you can still help. There is a link at the bottom of the article for those who are able to donate toward the Green family’s legal expenses. The family is also asking that people change their social media icon to the image above in solidarity. Use the hashtag #FreeBree to help spread the word!
A copy of the court order can be viewed here.
Donate to help fund the process of getting the Green’s beloved baby back.