Parents Lose Custody of Child for Treating Seizures with Medical Cannabis

A couple is caught up in an emotional battle for custody of their 15-year-old son from the state of Georgia after he tested positive for cannabis. Matthew and Suzeanna Brill are being charged with reckless conduct and facing jail time, simply for allowing their son to consume medical cannabis to stop his constant seizures.

The Brill’s son David endured up to ten seizures per day until his family discovered the healing powers of medical cannabis. David was seizure-free for 71 days before authorities snatched him from his home. Since Georgia only allows low-THC CBD oil, it’s illegal for the Brills to possess medical cannabis.

“The only way he could get a medical card would be a six-year waiting list,” Suzeanna told CBS News. Not only is there a six-year waiting period, but CBD alone isn’t enough for many children that suffer from epilepsy or similar conditions. Many of them need THC, which is also beneficial for epilepsy and other illnesses. So the family resorted to getting medical cannabis on their own.

But someone dropped the dime and called the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services on the Brill family. In a cruel twist of fate, David was removed from the Brills home on April 20, and immediate began having seizures again, because he was without medical cannabis. “When I talked to him tonight . . . the 10-minute phone call I was allowed to have with him, he is on the verge of going into a seizure,” Suzeanna said.

Parents of children that depend on medical cannabis often face difficult decisions—such as whether to allow their child to suffer constant seizures or risk losing custody. Most of the parents like the Brills say that there really isn’t a choice, when their child is suffering.

The Twiggs County Sheriff and Child Protective Services don’t care, apparently, how importantly a child depends on medical cannabis or what’s at stake in cases like David’s. David is now being held at a group home 60 miles away from his parents. The case is still pending.

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