MINNESOTA: After years of watching her son suffer with the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, Angela Brown turned to medical marijuana as a last resort. It worked, but the decision has left her facing criminal charges.
Minnesota this year became the 22nd state to approve specific forms of marijuana for medicinal use, but prosecutors in Lac qui Parle County don’t want people getting a head start. When the law goes into effect in July 2015, it’s likely that Brown’s 15-year-old son would qualify to access the cannabis oil he was already taking; however, the mother from Madison, Minn., is now facing two gross misdemeanor charges, including child endangerment. Each charge carries a penalty of one year imprisonment and a $3,000 fine.
When her son was 11 years old, a baseball that struck his temple left him with a severe brain trauma. The pain associated with the injury had led to “self harming” episodes, according to charging documents. After exhausting all other options to help the now-15-year-old cope with the pain, the family took a vacation to Colorado and bought oil containing THC at a shop there. His mother would administer just a few drops as needed, and in a matter of hours, the symptoms would vanish. The teen’s parents say he was even doing better in school as a result.
The criminal complaint, which was filed in June, states that Brown was not embarrassed about the legally-questionable decision. In fact, Brown admitted that her son was using medical marijuana after a Lac qui Parle County deputy requested a child protection worker interview her about the use of cannabis oil. During an interview with police, she even handed over the substance that had helped her son so much.