A Minnesota mother, who was facing trial next week on charges that she treated her sick son with medical marijuana, has been offered a deal.
Angela Brown, a mother of three from Madison, says her attorney and the county prosecutor have agreed to skip the trial and drop the child endangerment charge she faces if she pays a small court fee and goes 90 days without repeating the offense.
That offense was giving cannabis oil to her 15-year-old son to treat the seizures and chronic pain he suffers as the result of a traumatic brain injury — a treatment that will be legal in Minnesota in three months.
Brown said she accepted the deal: she was facing up to a year in prison and a $3,000 fine if convicted, and her son, Trey, might have been subpoenaed to testify against her. But she still fumes over the ordeal her family has gone through over an illegal drug that will be legal July 1.
“For an entire year, they have put us through emotional, financial and literally physical damages,” Brown said. “And now they want me to pay court fees and spend 90 more days dealing with them?”
Oregon attorney Michael Hughes, who is representing Brown pro bono, said he has signed off on the paperwork for a continuance for dismissal and returned it to Lac qui Parle County Attorney Rick Stulz. He expects the judge to review the deal by Friday.
“I was kind of looking forward to the trial,” said Hughes, whose client has become a celebrity in medical marijuana circles, most recently appearing in the documentary “Pot (The Movie),” which debuted at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival last weekend. “But it’s a good resolution … [The prosecution was] going to subpoena the child.”
Trey Brown’s health problems began at age 11 when he was hit in the temple by a baseball. The prospect of having to testify against his mother caused Trey emotional anguish, Brown said, on top of the pain of his condition.
Since police raided their home and removed the cannabis oil she’d bought legally in Colorado, Brown said Trey has landed in the emergency room twice, as the pain from the seizures caused so much agony that he struck out at himself, breaking his own bones.
Stulz’s office declined to comment. Brown said the deal would require her to pay a $100 court fee — nothing compared to the $8,000 in medical bills she says have piled up since Trey lost access to the marijuana oil.
Medical marijuana will be legal this summer in certain forms — pills or liquids — to certain patients, including children with seizure disorders. But the Brown family is already making plans to leave this state for Colorado, where cannabis oil is cheaper and more accessible.
Dropping the charges, Brown said, won’t make up for what her family has gone through. “I’m an angry mom,” she said. “No other parent should have to go through what we’ve been put through.”