|NORML Women's Alliance of Butte County|
NORML Women's Alliance Calls For Grand Jury Investigation
Several legal, qualified medical marijuana patients recently have had their children taken away by the Butte County, California Children's Services Division. In response, the NORML Women's Alliance last Friday put forward a complaint to the Grand Jury of Butte County requesting an investigation into the County Children's Services Division for the agency's perceived and widespread misconduct.
"The questionable actions and perceived misconduct by the Butte County CSD has compelled us to file an official request for an investigation by the Grand Jury in Butte County," Sabrina Fendrick of the NORML Women's Alliance told Toke of the Town from Washington, D.C., on Thursday afternoon.
|Sabrina Fendrick, NORML Women's Alliance: "The questionable actions and perceived misconduct by the Butte County CSD has compelled us to file an official request for an investigation by the Grand Jury in Butte County (including a financial audit)."|
"It has also been brought to my attention that Butte County leads all of California's large counties in the percentage rate of permanent removal of children from parents, according to the 2011 report by the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform," Fendrick told us.
The findings in the people's request include numerous testimonials from people who were directly affected, relating varied claims of CSD misdeeds.
"Previously, the Grand Jury undertook a limited 'narrow' investigation of the Children Services Division which did not sufficiently address all aspects of CSD conduct, nor addressed the narrow criteria of 'front end' issues in a thorough, transparent manner conducive to meaningful, unbiased investigation and findings," the NORML Women's Alliance said in a March 15 press release.
The NORML Women's Alliance of Butte County, along with a team of NORML attorneys, has put forth recommendations that they believe are in the best interest of Butte County children including a broad-based investigation and a financial audit.
So far, the only response from Butte County seems to be a retaliatory move from the District Attorney's office.
After the filing for a Grand Jury investigation, Butte County Assistant D.A. Jeff Greeson refiled felony child abuse and misdemeanor child endangerment charges against Daisy Bram (www.freemybabies.org) for the consumption of cannabis while breastfeeding. Daisy and her husband Jayme Walsh are medical cannabis patients in Butte County. Their three-week-old and 15-month-old children were taken and held by Butte County CPS for more than four months following the parents' arrest for cannabis.
"Considering the felony and misdemeanor charges were dropped, and are now being refiled 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," said Tamara Lujan, the NORML Women's Alliance community leader of Butte County.
"We thank the Grand Jury for its time, consideration and diligence in pursing our request," Lujan said. "Only when government agencies have proper oversight can we as a community rest assured that corruption, abuse and other misdeeds are kept in check and deterred.
"Together We the People of Butte County and the Grand Jury can make these necessary strides of investigation and oversight to ensure all Butte families are truly served well, and are safe and secure at home," Lujan said.
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