Serra Frank, the Founder and Executive Director of Moms for Marijuana, is in the middle of a public custody battle in support of her partner, Billy Fisher, who is fighting for his daughter Lilly.
Billy Fisher is a legal Washington state medical marijuana patient, treating his documented spinal disc degeneration condition. In Washington state, Fisher’s marijuana use would clearly seem to be protected by the law—Child Protective Services, however, doesn’t agree, and have denied Lilly from being under Fisher’s care, along with mandating Billy undergo drug testing and drug treatment.
All of this for a legal adult medical marijuana patient.
Moms for Marijuana have called for a public “Fight for Lilly Fisher” and all the children and families entangled up in fights with CPS over marijuana use.
“What about the harm that is caused by CPS when they remove a child from their loving parents over legal, humane medical marijuana use?” asks Frank.
On November 12th, Moms for Marijuana will gather all over the country to gather to seek parental protections for children caught up in CPS removals and investigations over medical marijuana.
The Moms for Marijuana “Free The Babies” Facebook Event already has over 390 RSVPs and features over eight past or present publicly known examples of CPS abusing parents who either use or grow medical marijuana.
The Moms for Marijuana press release states, “And most tragic is Alex Hill in Round Rock, Texas, who was taken from her father for his use of marijuana while she was still asleep, and then lost her life at the hands of her foster mother.”
Speaking on that death of that baby girl, Frank Capone on his live show, TWO HOTHEADS, WHERE ACTIVISM HAPPENS, asked with tears in his eyes, “What the fuck did CPS do to that two year old baby girl?”
With our new MA Medical Marijuana law not supplying any parental rights protection for patients, where does this leave parents in MA?
Talking with Sara Arnold aka Sahra Kant, co-founder of Family Law & Cannabis Alliance, it seems we need some better medical marijuana laws in Massachusetts with legal protections for parents.
Arnold notes, “Parents who use recreational or medical marijuana, from birth in a Massachusetts hospital through high school graduation (ie, adulthood) are at risk of one or more Department of Children & Families investigations. Removal of children from the family home does happen in Massachusetts. Far more common are substantiations of neglect with no further DCF involvement or “service plans” involving such requirements as forced cessation of use, drug treatment programs, and parenting classes. Locally and nationally, it is much more likely CPS agencies will consider removal appropriate if cannabis is used in the presence of the children, the parent who uses marijuana is taking care of the kids by themselves, there is cultivation in the home or where there are other factors such as race, class, and disability.”
How can Medical Marijuana patients protect their parental rights from CPS?
“There aren’t a specific set of instructions I can give for parents to protect themselves from DCF in the first place without it being written into reform laws—but if a parent anywhere in the US is contacted by a CPS, don’t speak to them or let them in unless they have a court order, make an appointment for a later date, and then seek advocates and legal advice. Never contact the media unless under advice from your lawyer; this often backfires, and absolutely nothing is more important than your children.” said Arnold.
Medical marijuana patients in MA need better medical marijuana laws such as Maine has recently passed with six new medical marijuana laws passed in just the last session. To protect parental rights, rights to employment, and for caregiver services.
Passing the MA Medical Marijuana Initiative is the start of the movement for medical marijuana patients not the end game.
Traumatizing both parents and children by separating them and putting more stress on an already overwhelmed foster care system is inhumane, cruel and absolutely unnecessary.”