Angela Brown works as a massage therapist and spends every spare minute with her two sons and her husband. She was understandably devastated when her 15-year-old son, Trey, suffered an accident on the ball field that left him with a life-changing traumatic brain injury.
After trying every available prescription drug and meeting with numerous healthcare professionals, Brown was desperate to find something to give Trey relief from his chronic pain.
After weeks of research, she finally decided to head to Colorado to buy a non-intoxicating cannabis extract and after the first dose, Trey showed phenomenal improvement. Unfortunately, someone in the Brown family’s circle of friends turned them in for using cannabis and now this loving mother is facing an uphill battle in court. She could end up spending the next two years behind bars, just for treating her son with cannabis oil.
Brown said that she chose to buy the cannabis oil because nothing else was working. Trey was having frequent violent seizures, constant muscle spasms, and endless pain. The impact of his brain injuries had left him suicidal and he was frequently harming himself and could not e left alone for even a moment. “He had started hitting his face, either with his own hands, or he would hit his face on the side of the tub or the wall,” she explained. “He started biting himself really hard on his hands and arms… and sharper objects he would start to stab at himself or cut himself,” she recalled.
Trey had given up on life and Brown’s heart was breaking as she saw her son slipping away a little more every day. “My son was suffering – he didn’t want to live. So I would hold him and I would beg him, ‘I want you to live, I love you – mommy will find an answer.” That’s when she first started researching medical marijuana and headed to Colorado to meet with a dispensary that offered non-intoxicating cannabis oil that had been highly effective in treating other patients with traumatic brain injuries.
When they came home from Colorado, the Browns brought back a tincture oil made from cannabis extracts and after giving one dose to Trey, his pain drastically subsided. “It took away 75 percent of Trey’s problems,” Brown said. As his symptoms improved, Trey started going back to school and during a routine meeting with the principal, several staff members asked Brown what had finally helped Trey to turn the corner. Brown said that she never thought about the repercussions when she told a handful of school staff members that they were using a tincture made from derivatives of a marijuana plant.
Just one week later, local police officers showed up with Family Services by their side. They interrogated Brown and sent a separate team to the school to question Trey. The officers asked Trey how much weed his mom was making him smoke and how high she was making his get. He explained that the oil did not make him stoned and he wasn’t smoking anything. Eventually, the social workers from Family Services dismissed the complaint, but the police officers refused to walk away from the situation. Instead, they demanded that Brown turn over the precious oil that was saving her son’s life or else they would arrest her and take her to jail. Eventually, they confiscated the oil, with no compassion for Trey’s condition or what this could mean for him in the coming days and weeks.
With the oil confiscated, Trey took a turn for the worst. As doctors tried to treat him, he went into serotonin overload from too many antidepressants. He suffered additional brain damage that is now irreversible and Brown has lost hope that he can recover at all. “I just feel like I don’t have much hope of ever getting my son back,” she said.
Even now, as her son’s life is hanging in the balance, the police are still pursuing charges against Brown for possessing the cannabis tincture. The family would like to move to Colorado to legally access the treatment Trey desperately needs, but they cannot go anywhere with charges pending. Brown will face a judge later this month to determine whether she will be headed to prison for giving her son the tincture. The prosecutor is hoping to pin her with charges of illegal possession and child endangerment.