After the excitement following the legalization of medical marihuana (sometimes written as marijuana), 2014 ended with Michigan’s first medical marijuana child abuse case. Amy Renee Cunningham, a 31-year-old mother from Mesick village, chose to treat her sons with medical marijuana. The 10 and 12-year old allegedly suffered from emotional issues, and Cunningham said she prefered to treat the problems naturally. She was charged with dealing drugs and Third Degree Child Abuse.
It was just a few months later, however, that MLive published a story about Ida Chinois, a mother from Grand Blanc who uses medical marijuana oil to treat seizures in her 6-year-old daughter. And she isn’t the only one. Many Michigan parents have since been given permission to treat their kids with medical marijuana in some form or another. So how do some parents end up the subject of CPS and criminal investigations, while the others don’t? What’s the difference?
Why are some parents investigated by CPS, and some aren’t?
The answer to that question is simple: protocol. What do we mean by that? Well, in Michigan, the medical marihuana law (MMMA) allows for a child to be treated for a medical condition by using medical marijuana. But there’s a catch. A parent MAY NOT simply decide on their own to treat a child with medical marijuana. That decision requires not one, but two, doctors opinions that medical marijuana is a needed treatment.
Under Michigan law, an adult may be treated for certain medical conditions with medical marihuana if they receive permission from a medical doctor. A child, on the other hand, is a different story! They require two separate and unaffiliated doctors to prescribe the use of medical marijuana before the state will even consider issuing a child a patient’s card.
Following protocols is critical for parents wanting to treat their kids with marijuana!
In the case of Amy Cunningham, she didn’t follow protocol. She didn’t seek out the opinions of any medical doctors. And she didn’t apply for a state-issued patient card for either of her sons. Had she applied, she would have known that neither anger management problems or ADHD (her son’s conditions) are conditions recognized by the state for medical marihuana treatment.
Ida Chinois, on the other hand, did follow state protocol for acquiring a patient card for her daughter, Bella. Bella suffers from a congenital genetic disorder called 1p36 Deletion Syndrome. It’s characterized by moderate to severe intellectual disability, delayed growth, seizures, limited capacity for speech and hearing and vision impairment.
Check with an attorney before allowing your children to use medical marijuana.
Because MMMA law changes regularly in Michigan, it’s always best to check with an attorney before making decisions about medical marijuana for your kids. Being investigated by CPS is a terrible experience, and the risk of losing your children is very real! In addition, child abuse charges can complicate your future in many ways.
If your child is facing significant medical concerns, and you’re contemplating medical marijuana as a treatment option, please contact us first! We can provide all of the information you need on Michigan law, what’s legally required for you and your child, and how it may may impact your future. Don’t risk your freedom, or your family. Call us immediately at 866 766 5245. Our skilled CPS defense attorneys can help you make the best choice.