On September 7, 2011, two Butte County Sheriff’s deputies trespassed  onto private property for a “compliance check” to see whether or not Daisy Bram and her husband Jayme Walsh were in compliance with medical marijuana legislation. A compliance check is a piece of cover-up legislation enabling law enforcement to “unlawfully obtain access to private homes to investigate legal medicinal cannabis gardens for potential arrest and prosecution.” Walsh and Bram were told that everything was OK, and the officers wished them and their baby well before continuing on their day.
Three weeks later, the Butte Interagency Narcotic Task Force forced entry into their home, violently seizing three-week-old newborn Zeus from his mother’s arms as well as his 15-month old baby, Thor, by Child Protective Services. The couple was charged with “eight class A felonies, six relating to cannabis and two charges of child abuse.” After a preliminary hearing the child related charges were dropped, along with one cannabis related charge being dismissed, but despite there never being “any attempt by prosecutors to verify the validity of their status as qualified patients in the state of California,” and the fact that they both have legal, state-recognized, recommendations for medicinal cannabis, five cannabis related criminal charges remain.
Public outcry over the incident has made several local residents come forward with complaints of misconduct against the BINTF and Child Services Division of Butte County, which “leads all of California’s large counties in the percentage rate of permanent removal of children from parents.” The NORML Women’s Alliance has filled an official request  for an investigation by the Grand Jury in Butte County, as well as Butte Country residents requesting an investigation into the County Children Services Division for what has been perceived as “widespread misconduct” by the agency.
Despite all of this, on March 13, 2012, “Butte County Assistant District Attorney, Jeff Greeson, re-filled felony child abuse and misdemeanor child endangerment charges against Daisy Bram (www.freemybabies.org ) and Jayme Walsh,” who’s 3 week old and 15month old were held by Butte County CPS for more than four months. According to Tamara Lujan, NORML Women’s Alliance Community Leader for Butte County, the refiling “after public outcry and the filing for a Grand Jury Investigation, we can come to no other conclusion except this is a retaliatory measure, from the Butte County DA’s office.”
Image by Dank Depot  on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.
NORML Women’s Alliance fights the filing of cannabis related felony child abuse charges  against legally recognized medical marijuana patients.