Randall & Stump, PLLC

Parents of epileptic children face federal prosecution for CBD

As more states legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes, marijuana users, growers, and retailers are becoming mainstream. Unfortunately, while states have lax laws, the Federal government of the United States still considers marijuana to be a Schedule I substance. This means that those who violate federal marijuana laws by purchasing out of state marijuana, mailing marijuana or marijuana extracts to customers, or transporting marijuana across state lines can still face federal prosecution and steep penalties, even if they are complying with state law.

Parents of sick children could face federal prosecution

In 2014, the state of North Carolina passed a law allowing for patients with intractable epilepsy to use high-CBD marijuana extracts to stop or reduce their seizures. The law is very specific about the content of the active ingredients, with CBD needing to be at least 5 percent of the overall weight of the extract and THC comprising less than 0.9 percent of its weight.

The law has given hope to hundreds of families whose kids weren't responding to treatments. For some children with intractable epilepsy, all conventional medications fail. In those cases, parents may seek out a high-CBD extract for treatment.

In these cases, without access to a high-CBD marijuana extract, they risk seizures and death every day. Unfortunately, this law did not create any infrastructure in the state of North Carolina for growing, extracting, selling or purchasing these life-saving medical marijuana products. This means that parents who are hoping to help their children must break the law to import and transport commercial marijuana extracts or create their own at home. These parents are breaking federal law every time they place an order or cross state lines in possession of marijuana or marijuana extracts.

The federal government doesn't often permit medical defenses

Even in cases where patients have documented, severe illnesses, prosecution is still a risk. Many times, the courts may preclude the person charged with a marijuana offense from even raising an affirmative medical defense for their charges. Retaining the services of an experienced federal defense attorney is your best chance at a rigorous and successful defense if you are facing federal marijuana charges in the state of North Carolina. The jury won't decide in your favor if you can't present them with testimony and evidence about your child's medical condition.

An experienced defense attorney can help

If you are facing federal charges for importing, transporting or creating a marijuana extract to treat your child's epilepsy, you need experienced representation as soon as possible. Public defenders simply won't have the time to devote to your case or the knowledge of precedent you will need to mount a vigorous defense.

As soon as you are arrested, you should seek the services of an experienced federal defense attorney. Your future, and your child's health, depend on your decisions after your arrest. Make the right one. Retain the services of an attorney who can defend you and advocate for your child.

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