You live in state, Georgia, that has some of the strictest cannabis laws in the country where physicians aren’t allowed to prescribe cannabis for medical use and it’s illegal to possess it or sell it; yet you need it for a family member suffering from violent seizures every-day. What do you do in this situation?
Matthew and Suzeanna Brill decided to take matters into their own hands and deliver the treatment that their son greatly needed. That decision, however, left them in a legal battle to get custody of their 15-year-old son, David Brill, back from the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services who had taken custody of the child after Matthew and Suzeanna were arrested. The state took David Brill from his parents on April 20th when he had tested positive for THC. The agency received a tip that the Brills were giving David cannabis to relive his condition. David was suffering from about 10 seizures a day but had been seizure free for 71 days since he had been consuming cannabis to treat his ailment. The couple had mentioned that he had never gone that long before, without cannabis, without having a seizure. “For our son, it was a miracle for him,” Matthew said.
Matthew and Suzeanna were charged with reckless conduct and initially spent 6 days in jail, and still possibly facing more jail time for their actions. Georgia law only allows for low dose THC oil and that can only be acquired via a state-issued medical card, which would take approximately six years on a waiting list to receive. The Brills did not agree with the prescribed prescription medication regime and decided to take matters into their own hands. Matthew Brill had consumed the cannabis prior to administering it to David to make sure that everything was okay.
David Brill was moved to a group home about 60 miles from his parents while the legal battle continues over his health rights and his parent’s actions. The same day that David was taken from Matthew and Suzeanna’s custody he had another seizure and had to be rushed to the hospital. When Suzeanna spoke with David later that evening on an allowed 10-minute phone call, he was about to have another seizure.
The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services said in an official statement that, “Case managers continue to work with the parents…so the family can be restored as quickly as possible.” The Brills attorney, Rachel Kugel, stated “They’re facing real criminal charges. I think even if they beat the criminal case… They still are definitely in hot water with regard to Child Protective Services.” In another statement, the Twiggs County sheriff defended his actions by stating… “It is my duty to enforce state law.”
The Brills aren’t unaware of what the state law outlines about cannabis, but they are just trying to help their son. They were asked if they would consider themselves criminals to which Suzeanna quickly stated “No.” Matthew added… “I’m a father that did what it took to make sure my son was okay.”
By Tracy Jerome Chisley (@PoeticPanther)
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