MADISON - A threat of ice- and snow- covered roads notwithstanding, Patrick McClellan vows he will make a better than three-hour drive from the Twin Cities to Madison to present a petition this morning to Lac qui Parle County Attorney Rick Stulz.
The petition contains some 9,000 signatures collected online by Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, which supports Minnesota’s legislation that will allow the use of medical cannabis beginning in July. The petition urges the county attorney to dismiss charges against Angela Brown of Madison “in the interest of justice,’’ said McClellan, patient advocate for Minnesotans for Compassionate Care.
Brown is scheduled to appear Wednesday in court in Madison for a hearing on two gross misdemeanor charges: endangering a child - permitting to be present when possessing a controlled substance, and contribute to the need for child protection or services.
A peaceful protest of supporters is expected outside the courthouse Wednesday.
McClellan said his plan to deliver the petition one day earlier is with the hope that it will give the county attorney time to chew over the issues and, he hopes, dismiss the charges.
He said the online petition includes support from State Sen. Branden Petersen, R-Anoka County, co-chair of Minnesota’s medical cannabis task force, as well as people from across the country.
The change.org petition McClellan will deliver is only one sign of the national attention that this case has attracted. Brown has appeared on national newscasts, the television program “The View,” and the TV news program “20/20” has expressed interest in documenting her story.
McClellan said many have expressed “outrage’’ that Brown is being charged for treating her son with medical cannabis. Her son Trey suffers from a traumatic brain injury. She and her husband, David, had obtained primary and specialized medical care for her son, but Angela Brown credits the use of medical cannabis with helping reduce much of her son’s pain.
McClellan said Brown’s legal troubles began after she was asked about Trey’s improvements.
“The bottom line is the state of Minnesota recognizes this medicine,’’ McClellan said. “The lawmakers recognize this medicine. The governor recognizes this medicine. The Department of Health has declared it a medicine and now a mother is being charged with child endangerment. It’s absurd,’’ he said.