This article was written exclusively for Steemit!
A Georgia couple is making national headlines after the state’s Division of Family and Children Services removed their teenage son from their care because they provided him with cannabis to treat a lifelong seizure disorder that caused him to have multiple seizures every day.
Fifteen-year-old David Brill’s prescribed medications failed to adequately remedy his epileptic episodes, so in February, his mother and stepfather resorted to cannabis after searching for potential treatments.
“We look at our child in a ball in the middle of the floor unable to anything, but their entire body is convulsing and tensed up and you have to pick your child up, carry them to your vehicle because you live 45 minutes away from help. I hope no parent ever has to do that," Suzeanna Brill told local outlet Fox 24.
After conducting research online, they decided to give it to David. He did not have a seizure for 71 days.
His stepfather, Matthew Brill, says he would test the cannabis himself it before giving it to the teenager.
"I smoke it first," said stepfather Matthew Brill. "I know where it comes from, I know my people. Made sure the bag was good, packed the bowl in my bowl, which I know ain't been anywhere else, and I set it on the table and told him that it was his decision. I did not tell him he had to or not."
But on April 20, the two parents admitted to the Division of Family and Children services that they give David cannabis, and they were arrested and charged with “reckless conduct, a misdemeanor charge,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution noted.
Cannabis remains illegal in Georgia. Police in the state made headlines earlier this year after they arrested dozens of young people at a party, charging them for offenses related to less than an ounce of weed.
Local law enforcement insists that by arresting David’s parents, they were simply doing their jobs. Nevertheless, their actions have had real consequences.
On April 20, the same day David was placed in a group home and was denied his cannabis treatment, he suffered a seizure and was rushed to the hospital.
“What we’re dealing with here, it’s a parent’s right to treat their child with natural remedies,” said Tom McCain, executive director of Peachtree NORML, a pro-cannabis legalization advocacy group in Georgia. “They know what’s best, that works for him.”
The Brills are determined to get their child back and insist they will do whatever they need to to help him.
"Even with the ramifications with the law, I don't care," Matthew Brill told The New York Times. "For 71 days he was able to ride a bike, go play, lift weights. We were able to achieve that with David medicated not from Big Pharma, but David medicated with marijuana."
The couple has raised nearly $40,000 for legal expenses via Gofundme and has a hearing later this month.