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Medical marijuana advocates decry state removal of children

Medical marijuana activists rallied in Lansing Tuesday to protest the removal of six-month-old Bree Green from her family last week. The activists say the state Department of Human Services (DHS) has targeted a number of medical marijuana users by taking away their kids.

Bree’s mother, Maria Green, is a state licensed medical marijuana caregiver. Her father is a patient and outspoken advocate.

Steve Green says he was elated that dozens of people showed up in support.

“A lot of people have seen how we’re parents and what we do for our kids, and they can’t ignore that,” said Green at the rally outside the DHS offices in Lansing. “They know there’s been a misjustice done here, and so they had to come out and show their support.”

Charmie Gholson is the founder of the group Michigan Moms United, which advocates for easing drug laws. She organized the rally in support of the Greens.

“This is not protecting families,” Gholson said. “This is not helping public safety. It’s creating danger where none previously existed. And it’s separating children from their homes when they’re not under threat of abuse or neglect.”

In a statement, the Department of Human services said it could not comment on specific cases, “due to privacy concerns and Michigan Child Protection Law.”

The rest of the statement reads as follows:

“In general for a case here at DHS, we would look at parenting as being the key factor during any investigation. What kinds of choices are they making that impact their kids, and what impact is the substance use (be it alcohol, prescription drugs, etc.) having on their children.

“The safety and well-being of the children involved is always going to be paramount with a CPS investigation.

“As for marijuana itself, we look at it in the same way as we would any drug usage, prescription or otherwise with one major difference: in the case of pills, etc. we can determine with a blood sample or series of samples if the dosage matches that of the prescription in terms of use.  That simply is not the same case with marijuana.”

There’s a court date scheduled for October 7th related to the Green’s attempt to have their daughter returned.

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