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Suzeanna Brill and her husband Matthew weren’t looking to become the face of the struggle to end the War on Drugs, but their story has received national attention. Their family lives in Georgia, and their decision to try medical cannabis has resulted in a nightmare for their family.
It’s a story that seems all too common, even with near total public support (roughly 83 percent per the Washington Times )for medical cannabis. Two parents, frustrated with the inability of Western medicine to help their son, eventually turned to cannabis to help stop his seizures. Georgia responded by having Family and Children’s Services remove their son from their home. Roughly a month later, the parents found themselves charged with Reckless Conduct.
Because these two parents decided to give their teenage son smokeable cannabis in a desperate attempt to control his seizures, they could face jail time and ongoing separation from the child they clearly love. The courts, however, maintain that releasing the son back into his parent’s custody would place him in danger. His parents must now battle their state government to regain custody of their son and avoid criminal prosecution.
Their son, David, is only 15 years old. He’d been struggling with regular seizures for some time. His doctors couldn’t get the condition under control. In fact, David was still having several seizures every day, and even a service dog couldn’t fully ease their concern that this condition could cost David’s life.
They turned to cannabis. They tried high-CBD and low-THC oil with little luck. Despite several states passing CBD-only laws, many families find better luck with full-spectrum cannabis products, which include THC as well as CBD.
After researching it for a while and discussing the potential risks, they allowed David to try smoking cannabis in February of this year. Amazingly, their teenage son went 71 days without a seizure. David was able to enjoy the life of a happy, healthy teen for a short time. His performance in school improved, and his parents no longer worried about him dying in his sleep.
Then the state found out and intervened. On April 19, 2018, the Division of Family and Children’s Services and a sheriff’s deputy came. They insisted that cannabis was dangerous and that the Brills stop immediately. So they did, but then David had another seizure within one day of stopping. His parents got arrested while David received medical care that didn’t stop the seizures. According to his mother’s account, he flatlined while his parents were carted off and his service dog was taken to the pound.
David was placed in a group home, and his seizures returned without the cannabis to help suppress them. His interaction with his parents is now limited to short visits and phone calls. His parents, who only ever wanted health and happiness for David, must now fight the state to regain custody of their beautiful boy.
The Brill family is fundraising for legal assistance. Please consider donating to their fund and sharing their story. No family should get torn apart for choosing a safe and natural medicine to combat a potentially deadly condition.
For previous Ladybud coverage of CPS involvement with cannabis families, click here.
Image Credit: The Brill Family GoFundMe Page