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GA Teen Returns Home After Being Separated from His Parents for Treating His Epilepsy with Marijuana


About a month and a half ago another family was torn apart because of the parents’ choice to treat their child’s severe epilepsy with marijuana. Where other medications, and even hemp oil products, that would have been legal under Georgia state law had failed, a few puffs of medical grade marijuana smoked through a pipe was able to do the help.

David Ray, the teenager who suffered from countless seizures a day, went 71 days seizure-free while smoking marijuana. But then, because of the intervention of the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS), those days of being seizure-free ended, and he wound up in the hospital after another life-threatening seizure while his parents, Suzeanna and Matthew Brill, were arrested and sent to jail.

At a hearing on Monday in Twiggs County Juvenile Court, the state admitted that the teen should be returned to his parents – as well as the fact that it was clear that he was being cared for and that his parents had his best interest at heart. Not long after the hearing, David texted his mother that he would be coming home.

The Brills were charged with reckless conduct, but on Monday a protective order returning custody of David to his mother was agreed to before David was able to return home. The family will be required to meet with a DFCS case agent twice a month for a minimum of the next six months – and their visits will include random drug tests for David to ensure they have stopped treatment in the form of smokable marijuana.

“Our position, of course, is that the state endangered him by abruptly terminating treatment that was working for him,” said the Brills lawyer Bernard.

While the family will no longer be allowed to use medical marijuana in a smoked form to treat David’s seizure disorder, they will soon be receiving one of the first prescriptions for Epidiolex – a CBD medication made from medical grade cannabis that was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in treating intractable forms of epilepsy.

As mentioned, CBD oil with less than 0.3 percent THC is legal in Georgia – but the family had found no relief through hemp oil previously. Purchasing cannabis or hemp oil illegal or through the grey-area of CBD hemp oil can be risky as the quality greatly depends on the plants that the oil comes from – so hopefully with the quality guaranteed in FDA-approved Epidiolex, David will find relief without the need to smoke.