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article imageOp-Ed: Americans see lack of compassion in cannabis prosecution

By Ben Morris     Oct 4, 2014 in Politics
Madison - On September 29th, protesters in Minnesota showed support for Angela Brown, a mother who hasn't been charged with rape, murder, or any severe crime. She gave cannabis oil to a son with a severe brain injury, and now district attorney punishing her for it.
Four years ago, then 11-year-old Trey Brown was hit in the head with line drive while playing America's pastime. Like many with similar stories, the treatments provided by doctors did next to nothing to eliminate his pain. After a recommendation from a doctor to try cannabis oil, The Brown family took a trip to Colorado and brought back some cannabis oil; the results were almost instantaneous and provided Trey with relief he hadn't had in years.
"Trey described it as the pressure in his brain was being released," Angela Brown told Fox 9 News, "Once it hit his system with the right amount of dose, the muscle spasms would stop. The pain was eased. It was just relief."
The Madison, Minnesota native then made the mistake of opening her mouth, which got her a visit from family services. Her son got a police visit at school. Family services eventually dropped their case, but Brown has been charged with two gross misdemeanors and faces two years in jail for being a desperate mom willing to do anything to guarantee her child as normal of a life as possible.
The twenty people outside the Chippewa County courthouse in Montevideo, MN know Brown did what every mother should, and the fact she is being prosecuted is a gross injustice that is wasting valuable law enforcement resources and ruining lives. Minnesota has passed a medical marijuana law, but it does not take affect until next year.
The actions of Lac qui Parle County prosecutors is part of a growing trend of law enforcement cruelly strong arming desperate people to conform to laws rooted in ignorance and bias towards a plant credited with helping an overwhelming number of families. Yet regular Americans continue to stand with families and medical marijuana provides to stick it against the man.
In 2009, dozens of people stood outside a federal courthouse to support Charles Lynch, a dispensary owner who operated a store in Morro Bay, California. After a Sheriff found he did not have a case, he called in the DEA who were happy to charge Lynch in federal court. Lynch provided free cannabis to the family of Owen Beck, then a cancer patient and amputee sickened by the disease and all of the pharmaceuticals provided to him. Like the Brown family, the Beck's were desperate, and found relief in cannabis.
To reward Lynch for his kindness and generosity, the federal government sentenced Lynch to a year in jail.
These prosecutions are not what Americans want. In a number of national polls, support for the legalization has surpassed 70%. While legislation is being considered all over the U.S, Americans aren't waiting to throw their support behind legal medical cannabis. In North Carolina, many literally took to the streets to demand state legislators pass a medical marijuana bill.
In June, five men walked 260 miles from Asheville to Raliegh, North Carolina to gain support for House Bill 1161, a bill supported by others in the state. A month before the march, Rebecca Forbes of the East Coast Chapter of the American Cannabis Coalition has put her organization behind the legislation. She told North Carolina Health News, “I’m a five-year cannabis oil survivor. I used the oil and stayed alive, so we’re excited and ready for this to happen in North Carolina for the sick."
In response Governor Pat McCrory passed a limited medical marijuana law that exempts epilepsy patients from prosecution. However; the law still allows for medical marijuana users treating other ailments to face a judge. The law, although better than nothing, has critics who want cannabis legal for everyone who depend on the plant to alleviate their suffering.
Brown's case as angered many, and has drawn support of hundreds who have donated to her Go Fund Me page. Americans have overwhelmingly stepped onto the side of patients and are demanding politicians to join them. The outrage over Brown's prosecution is not rare. Americans are justifiably fed up with governments punishing families for being sick, and finding medicine not provided by major pharmaceutical companies. They see the prosecution of these families as immoral, sickening, and cruel.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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