Friday, October 21, 2016

Marijuana Injury to a Child: Dangerous vs. Illegal

I remember the first time I saw a child exposed to Marijuana.

I was in the first year of my Cannabis Journey, finding medical benefits for my chronic painful bladder condition through frequent use of an illegal drug. I was just meeting other Cannabis consumers in my hometown of Boise, Idaho and had never really interacted with pot smokers other than as a teenager. I had already started researching the history, science and politics surrounding Marijuana, although I had not yet encountered information on the toxicity of the drug, or it's impact on children.

I remember how I felt, watching my new friend's child crawl into his father's lap, while his father was smoking a joint. His father just let him climb right up, unconcerned that he was smoking marijuana at the time. I remember the feeling of disapproval I felt towards this father that would allow his son to be around what I still believed to be a potentially "dangerous" drug, especially to children.

That was over 10 years ago, and now after a decade of research on Cannabis, thinking back on that moment, I feel like a FOOL.

Between the 10,000 year history of mankind's relationship to this plant, with absolutely zero recorded instances of fatality or any kind of toxic effect caused by Cannabis, and the DEA Administrative Court Ruling that finds the toxicity of Marijuana is SO LOW that it is physically impossible to consume enough marijuana to induce death;

Plus the largest study of it's kind done on the effects of Cannabis smoke and the lungs resulting in no cancer connection and potential protective benefit, as well as the most in-depth study ever done on Cannabis and Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and developing children concluding that not only is Marijuana NOT harmful and DOES NOT have any sort of negative impact on a developing mind, but also that the children of Cannabis using mother's are more advanced than the children of non-Cannabis using mothers;

Not to forget the pressure from CNN Medical Correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, on the public and medical professions to do research into the safety and medical benefits of Cannabis and make it available, the use of Cannabis oils in Colorado Neonatal Care for epileptic infants, the US Government patent (#6630507) on the neuro-protectant properties of Cannabis, the history that shows Cannabis prohibition is based on racism and corporate interests and not public safety or real science, and so much more;

I definitely feel like a fool for my feelings at that time. After all of my research and experiences with Cannabis, as an activist, a patient, and as a mother, I now know that it was absurd of me to think that any harm could come from that loving father by holding his child in his lap and smoking a joint.

It makes sense though. Why I would have those kind of feelings... feelings propagated through fear mongering misinformation passed down through the generations, through my parents, my public education, and society as a whole... it was my instinct as a mother to protect that child from what society has deemed a "dangerous" drug. 

It's the same type of feeling when I see mothers holding babies while smoking tobacco cigarettes.

But, despite the very obvious dangers of smoking tobacco, and harms of second hand smoke, and nicotine toxicity, no one calls Child Protective Services over tobacco.

Because it's the parent's choice.

Marijuana & Child Protective Services

There are close to half a million children in foster care in this country at any given time, with only approximately 20% being removed from their homes over documented abuse or neglect. 

The other 80% are there for what I've heard called "garbage can" allegations, such as a dirty household, unstable home environment, conflict in the household, "off grid" lifestyles, natural medicine, home births, refusing immunizations, parental drug use and more.

As a marijuana activist, and as a family advocate, I have encountered hundreds, if not thousands, of CPS related stories, mostly related to Marijuana use as a "concern" to allege child abuse/neglect. 

I've heard heart wrenching stories from mothers who have had their babies torn from them at birth because of positive THC tests due to exposure from the mother's medical marijuana use, even in legal states. I've heard about children taken from parents who have only admitted to CPS about having used Marijuana recently, and then the parents are forced to jump through chemical dependency hoops and services, just to end with the children adopted out, or worse.

A few years ago, I had front row seats to the Fight for Lilly Fisher, primarily based upon her father's medical marijuana use in Washington State - which had a 15 year old medical marijuana law, with parental protections, and had just voted to stop incarcerating non violent, responsible, Cannabis users. 

That fight completely altered my life and ended with the opportunity for me to be a mother figure to a beautiful baby girl, our Princess Lilly.

And then there are cases where parents make the difficult decision to give their children a safe and effective medicine, despite state law.

I've been involved with a couple of these types of cases, and as a parent of a child who has a chronic condition that I long to treat with what I believe to be safe and effective medicine, in a place where the word Marijuana is still uttered in the Reefer Madness style of fear and abhorrence, I completely understand this dilemma. 

The risk and fear is Child Protective Services and the law, but the benefit is helping our suffering child.

I openly and willingly admit that I use Marijuana, illegally, in the State of Idaho. Anyone who knows me, knows I'm fed up with Idaho laws that make me a criminal for choosing a better quality of life, and I don't care who knows it

I am currently in the process of opening up the legal/medical debate by challenging state laws because of criminal charges stemming from my own use and possession. But the one thing that I haven't been willing to risk is fighting with CPS over giving it to Lilly for her MRSA. (Which ironically was contracted while in foster care during the fight over Mariuana and parenting in Washington State.)

But I definitely understand the frustration of having to choose between the law and your child's health. Fortunately, Lilly's condition isn't as urgently life threatening as other children in Idaho who could benefit from medical marijuana. I can only imagine the anguish that some parents face watching their sick or dying children suffer when they see hope in medical Cannabis. Especially knowing what I know about how well it works and how safe it is.

But some parents who face this decision, make the decision. In a moment of desperation, filled with fear and anxiety as they watch their child suffer imaginable pain and anguish, some parents have made the decision to give their children an illegal drug in a non-medical marijuana state. I'm certain there are those out there, even in the state of Idaho, who have made this decision, and no one knows about it.

And then there are those who get a visit from Child Protective Services, because of someone reporting them or because of a postitive toxicology test reported by a medical provider.

I recently became involved in such a case stemming out of Twin Falls, Idaho.


Ryker, Kelsey & Mady Osborne

Kelsey Osborne, a 23 year old mother of two, is a native to Hazleton, Idaho, and currently resides in Gooding, Idaho - both small country towns on the outskirts of Twin Falls, Idaho.

On October 5th, 2016, she was faced with the decision of helping her 3 year old daughter, Madyson, by using what she believed would work - medical marijuana, or complying with State law and watching her daughter suffer for hours until they could get in to see the doctor.

Madyson has a history of behavioral and medical problems. For the last 18 months, after her daughter began to be violent and aggressive towards other children and people, Kelsey has been seeking help through her local pediatrician, and referrals to behavioral specialists in Idaho's capitol city, Boise -120 miles away.

According to Madyson's medical records, her pediatrician, Dr. Jack F. Trotter of Twin Falls, has jumped through diagnosis after diagnosis to help explain this 3 year old's aggressive and violent behavior.

Starting on July 16th, 2014, when Mady had a harmful reaction to the MMR vaccine and began vomitting and having seizures, sending the Osborne family to the local emergency room, Mady's behavior has grown worse and more out of control. Her mother reports that she won't play with other children for more than 5 minutes before she would become "mean to the other children. Pushing, kicking, biting, hitting, etc."

On March 13, 2015, Mady was caught pushing her baby brother, Ryker, down the stairs, all because she couldn't have candy. The incident resulted in head trauma for 1 year old Ryker, another trip to the ER, and two days in the hospital suffering seizures. Finding child care for Mady became increasingly difficult, with threats from day cares that Mady would be kicked out if the behavior problems were not addressed. 

Kelsey has been told by medical professionals, numerous times, that it is typical toddler behavior, but as it became more uncontrollable, Kelsey continued to seek medical help from her daughter's pediatrician without any real concrete explanation for Mady's aggressive behavior. 

Mady's medical records between Summer of 2014, and Spring of 2016 include such potential diagnosis by Dr. Trotter as Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Under Socialized Aggressive Conduct Disorder (CD), and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

Not a single one of the medical records includes the same suggestion of diagnosis, each speculating a different disorder.

The final diagnosis in the record is Dysruptive [sic] Behavior Disorder (DBD), dated August 8th, 2016. At this visit, Dr. Trotter decides to try Mady on a low dose of a psychotropic medication called Risperdal. (There isn't any mention in the record of what dose Dr. Trotter started Madyson on at this visit, it only states a "low dose".)

According to, Risperdal is an anti-psychotic, used to treat schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disorder (manic depression). Risperdal is also used in autistic children to treat symptoms of irritability.

The last medical records shown to me is dated August 23rd, 2016, and states that mother (Kelsey) says that there is dramatic improvement, and Mady acts like a normal child at times. Mady was on Risperdal for two weeks at this point. At this visit, the doctor increases Mady's dose to .25mg three times a day, or up to .5mg twice a day. (Kelsey reports that she only gave her daughter .25mg twice a day.)

Mady and her little brother Ryker, were sharing residential time with their father, Kelsey's ex husband. After spending a couple weeks with their father, at the end of September, Mady and Ryker return home to Kelsey on October 4th. 

Kelsey reports that at this time Mady had been taking the medication regularly at her home, but when their father returned them to her care, he told her he had stopped the Risperdal "cold turkey" while Mady was at his house. Kelsey says that when she asked their father why he had stopped it, his reason was because it made her a zombie and he didn't want her on it.

That night, Mady became very emotional. Kelsey states that she assumed it had to do with a lack of an afternoon nap, but when bedtime came around, Mady threw a tantrum and screamed until she fell asleep in her bed, no soothing from her mother effective in calming her.

The morning of Wednesday, October 5th, 2016, Mady woke up terrified. As reported by her mother, Mady stated, as they sat down to breakfast with Ryker, and Kelsey's live-in significant other, Mike, and his 5 kids, that someone was there to kill her. She began screaming "bloody murder", crying "Help! I'm gonna die. They are going to kill me!"

Kelsey grabbed her child and held her, not understanding what was happening to her baby girl. Terrified by her daughter's behavior, while trying to maintain composure for her child, Kelsey just held Madyson as she screamed. Her mother describes Mady as "trembling and shaking and scared" with her arms wrapped tightly around her as she tried to calm her with suggestions of "princesses, parks, and happy times."

Mady told her mom that she wanted to go outside, so Kelsey took her into the garage and sat her down in her chair with a pop tart for breakfast. As Mady took a bite of her poptart, Kelsey reports that Mady started to nod off, as if she was falling back asleep. Keeping an eye on her daughter, Kelsey sat in the garage worried beyond belief.

Suddenly, Mady jumped in terror, looking to the side and looked like she was trying to scream, trying to get out of the chair as quickly as possible. Kelsey says that it seemed liked Mady was trying to get out of her chair but could not move, almost as if paralyzed. She couldn't get her scream out either.

Kelsey describes watching her daughter's "itty bitty body using every bit of strength to get up" and get to her mother. Kelsey rushed over to comfort her daughter and Mady grabbed her, wrapping her arms around Kelsey so tight she could barely breath, as she was trying to escape the terrors within in her mind. Kelsey describes that she told Mady that she loved her and promised she would not let anyone hurt her.

This momentarily calmed Mady, but then she suddenly jumped, screaming again, and grabbing her mother tighter than before. Rambling, Mady told Kelsey that she loved her, loved all the kids, and Mike, and her daddy and his fiance, apologizing to her mother that "she was really going to die" and begging her to help.

Then Mady started seizing and vomiting profusely.

Kelsey immediately called Dr. Trotter and says that he stated that he felt it was a seizure but didn't feel it to be life threatening. He asked her to bring Mady into the office but there was not an appointment until 1pm.

It was 10:30 in the morning and the seizures and hallucinations continued. Kelsey believed with all of her heart and mind that there was only one thing that was going to help. Taking her to the hospital would result in more medications and possibly toxic pharmaceuticals, and that with everything she knew about Marijuana, and it's treatment for seizures and psychotic disorders, there was only one thing that could truly, safely, help her daughter.

So, despite it being frowned upon and illegal in Idaho, Kelsey chose to give her daughter Marijuana, knowing with every fiber of her being that it would help her baby girl. After making the heart wrenching and terrifying decision to violate the law despite the risks, Kelsey gave Mady marijuana infused butter in a smoothie. Thirty more minutes of anguish passed, but finally Mady calmed down.

After hours of seizures, hysteria, hallucinations, and what can only be called a psychotic episode, Mady was finally back to her "normal, loving, kind, hallucination and seizure free, self."

The one o'clock appointment with the doctor rolled around and the doctor's office performed an EEG test, which, as reported by Kelsey, was found to be "essentially normal." Dr. Trotter advised that Mady should be sent to Boise for an "emergency MRI of the brain" but before he sent her there he needed to ensure that she had not gotten into something toxic.  He performed a toxicology screen through a urine sample, which resulted in a positive for THC from the smoothie.

By law, as a mandated reporter, Dr. Trotter was required to call Child Protective Services because of the positive result.

Kelsey called her ex-husband and informed him of the situation. They agreed that they would meet with CPS together if they became involved.

At approximately 8:30pm, Kelsey received a phone call from Karla Enriquez, a Twin Falls CPS Investigator through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Karla told Kelsey they received a referral of neglect from the doctor regarding a positive test for THC, and to meet her at the Twin Falls Kmart to do a welfare check on Madyson and discuss the situation.

Kelsey called her ex-husband, and they headed to Kmart to meet with the investigator.

At Kmart, Karla and a Twin Falls police officer, Anthony Rhoades (#12349), discussed with Kelsey and her ex-husand what had happened that morning. Kelsey says she told Karla the truth and that she was only wanting what was best for her child.

Karla suggested that Kelsey sign a safety plan that she had written out according to her department's policies. Because of her fear, confusion and ignorance regarding her legal rights, Kelsey consented to the safety plan. (NEVER SIGN A SAFETY PLAN!)

The safety plan included both of her children residing with their father and only supervised visits with their mother, the children were required to receive hair follicle testing within the next 48 hours, and Kelsey was required to contact a chemical dependency treatment center and complete an evaluation as well as submit to drug testing until CPS closed the case.

It wasn't until later that Kelsey realized Ms. Enriquez had written the safety plan in a way that Kelsey was admitting that Mady had been exposed to THC, and required medical attention because of it. Not that she used the Cannabis as a medical treatment.

At this time, Officer Rhoades also cited Kelsey with a misdemeanor Injury to a Child. Kelsey explains that the officer was originally going to cite her with a felony but was told by his supervisor to only give her a misdemeanor. 

(She has since plead NOT GUILTY to this charge and has hearings pending.)

After learning about the discrepancies in the safety plan, and learning her legal rights,  as well as also realizing that Ms. Enriquez has added a written admission to giving Mady THC to the plan AFTER Kelsey and her ex-husband had already signed it, Kelsey decided to rescind her signature to the safety plan and insist that Child Protective Services take her to court and prove the harm they are saying she caused to her child before cooperating.

She has continued to abide by the safety plan in regards to where her children are living, which is currently with her ex husband. Her fear of her babies being placed with strangers in foster care is the only motivation behind any kind of cooperation.

Kelsey tells me she believes in the medical validity and safety of Marijuana, and that in her desperation, she believes she made the right choice. She says she doesn't feel she made a mistake by giving her daughter what she knew and believed with all of her heart to be safe and beneficial and the ONLY thing that could help her daughter with the seizures and hallucinations she was having at that moment. She believes this because it worked. It helped her.

I do not feel she made a mistake either.

She says it is Governor Otter and the State of Idaho that have made a mistake by not allowing parents like her to make the decision that is in the best interest of their own child's health and safety. They have made the mistake by continuing Idaho's prohibition on medical use of marijuana, including for severely ill children experiencing symptoms of epilepsy or other life threatening or debilitating illnesses.

And I completely agree.

When you run a google search of the withdrawal symptoms of Risperdal, a legal and FDA approved drug for the treatment of irritability in children apparently as young as three years old, this is what you find:

Logically looking at this situation, I speculate that Mady may have been suffering from hallucinations and seizures caused by withdrawal from Risperdal, a drug given to her with no concrete medical diagnsosis and that may have never been appropriate for her at 3 years old. There is also speculation now that Mady may suffer from mild autism.

This could help to explain the aggressive behavior which is a trademark of autism in some cases. And of course, my mind turns to studies I've read regarding the use of Marijuana in the treatment of aggression caused by Autism, and of the Unconventional Foundation for Autism and Meiko Perez who uses Cannabis to treat her son Joey's aggression symptoms in California.

But with CPS intervention, because of Kelsey's decision to treat her daughter the only way she absolutely knew would work and be helpful for her child, I believe it is going to be difficult to actually figure out what is going on with Mady any time soon. CPS is more concerned with the marijuana and focused on what they are inappropriately calling an Injury to Child, than what happened to Mady that day.

On October 19th, 2016, Kelsey finally went to court. I was present during the interview with her new public defender and the court process in setting this case up for an Adjudicatory hearing on November 9th. This is where the court will determine whether or not Madyson and Ryker Osborne are within jurisdiction of the Idaho Child Protection Act

Jerome County Magistrate Judge, Thomas H. Borresen, will have to decide if the State of Idaho has presented a preponderance of evidence to prove whether or not Kelsey abused or neglected her daughter, Mady, because of giving her Marijuana.

In the 2 weeks of this case being active, I have heard recordings from a CPS supervisor, and personally witnessed the public defender assigned to the case, insist that any judge in Idaho will agree that Marijuana is dangerous to children because it's illegal. Not because it is actually dangerous, or that there is science or evidence to support their claim of its potential to injure to a child, or that Marijuana was even the wrong medication for this child and that it did not help...

But because it is ILLEGAL.

So, let's talk about ILLEGAL vs. DANGEROUS.

Illegal is defined as:

Dangerous is defined as:
Just because something is illegal and forbidden by law, does not mean that it is dangerous. These terms do not mean the same thing.

Once you do the research, and learn everything about the toxicity of marijuana, and of the perceived dangers of Marijuana caused by distorted information being passed down through numerous generations of prohibition in this country, and if you look at the actual law as defined by Idaho Statute regarding Injury to a child:

I believe that anyone would agree it is ILLOGICAL to even consider Marijuana exposure falling within the parameters of "Injury to a Child."

The truth is out there, and it is only a matter of time before it is accepted by the collective consciousness. Someday, the safety and benefits of Marijuana will be accepted as a societal truth.

But Idaho is stuck in 80 years of prohibition...

Idaho is stuck in the stigma of marijuana being a dangerous drug.

And stuck in the belief it is especially a danger to our children.

Idaho is stuck on the WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY.

The rights of parents in the control and care of their children, without government interference, is what is on the line in this case.

Which is what makes this case so important in the fight for truth and justice when it comes to Marijuana, parenting, the current Idaho laws, CPS corruption, and even the use of psychotropic drugs on toddlers when there is a safer alternative. 

It's about making that alternative available to your children if they are suffering without having to fight for the right to make medical decisions about YOUR family without governmental interference.

Kelsey has made the decision to fight the "Injury to Child" charge and the allegations by the department that she abused/neglected her children. She has informed me that she intends to fight to the end, and insist upon the rules of evidence and due process in her case. And based on everything I know about this case, and my 10+ year education about Cannabis, and about Idaho's current controversial fight for medical justice, I stand by her decision 100%.

And I hope you will too.

Because Idaho needs you to pay attention. We need you, no matter who you are, or where you live, to #LooktoIdaho and #ChallengeGovButchOtter. Challenge his decision to deny a defense for medical marijuana use in epileptic children (which would be available as a defense for Kelsey now had it not been vetoed last year). Challenge Idaho's determination to stay wrapped up in an insane and illogical prohibition of the most beneficial medicine on this earth. 

For Kelsey, Mady, Ryker and the Osborne family. For all the sick and dying children in Idaho. For my daughter, for my sons, and for all the children who are depending on us to give them a better future. For all the parents who, in Kelsey's terrified and desperate shoes - concerned about the well-being and safety of their child rather than state laws - would make the same decision she did, without thinking twice.

Please support Kelsey's fight.

And help us finally bind these monsters called Child Protective Services and Marijuana Prohibition in Idaho.


Stay up to date with Kelsey's journey to bring her kids back and support her fight for Medical Justice in Idaho by liking and following Operation Gleipnir on Facebook.

Sign the petition demanding return of the Osborne kids, and challenge Gov. Butch Otter's decision to not protect Idaho families by vetoing the 2015 CBD bill.

Sign the petition demanding The Idaho Office of Drug Policy change their stance on Medical Marijuana in Idaho.

Contact Idaho legislators and demand they investigate this case and work to change Marijuana laws in Idaho.

Sign the Idaho Medical Marijuana Association's current petition to legalize medical marijuana in Idaho. It was recently released for circulation and just needs your signature to make it on the 2018 ballot.

And please help EXPOSE CPS CORRUPTION in this country.


  1. It BOGGLES my mind that Medical Cannabis, which I have seen with my own eyes treat so many issues with people, allowing them to live lively, normal, functioning and thriving lives. Yet when a mother attempts to provide loving care, and treatment for an obviously scary withdrawal of a toxic and dangerous medication as provided by Pharmaceutical companies, has her kids taken away by CPS who know NOTHING of how to parent let alone take CARE of a child. On the same coin parents who whish to OPENLY NEGLECT their children by Treating them with Prayer ONLY in the State of Idaho (Ref: ) are given that right as it is "God's Will"... I am so sick of this bullshit.... If Faith Healers, and snake dancing charlatins and pariahs can get away with their "spiritual nonsense" then parents with legitimate concerns over their childs health be offered the same choice to use cannabis!! LEGALIZE CANNABIS NOW!!!!