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Friday, October 25,2013

Bree Green comes home

In high-profile medical marijuana and child custody case, parents win

by Andy Balaskovitz
Steve and Maria Green at the Ingham County courthouse in downtown Lansing today. Andy Balaskovitz/City Pulse

Friday, Oct. 25 — After a six-week battle with the state Department of Human Services, Lansing parents Steve and Maria Green regained custody of their 7-month-old daughter, Brielle, today.

The Greens, who are medical marijuana patients, attracted statewide attention last month after Child Protective Services successfully petitioned an Ingham County attorney referee to remove Bree from their Larch Street home following allegations of marijuana use in the home.

The attorney referee, Rod Porter, also cited the inherent danger to children of marijuana being grown in a home, albeit legally under the state Medical Marihuana Act.

“It was such a downward hill this whole time,” Maria Green said in good spirits today, surrounded by reporters at the Ingham County courthouse in downtown Lansing.

“We’re just ecstatic to have it really happen,” Steve Green added.

A hearing scheduled before Ingham County Probate Judge Richard Garcia today turned out to be a meeting between attorneys on both sides formally agreeing to stipulations that had been negotiated earlier in the week, said attorney Joshua Covert, who is representing the Greens.

In earlier court hearings, pending felony drug manufacturing charges against the Greens, as well as doubts as to whether they were actually qualifying medical patients, were factors playing against the Greens, Covert said.

However, the charges in Oakland County were dropped on Oct. 3 and it was demonstrated that both Steve and Maria Green are qualifying patients.

In order for the case to be dismissed entirely, the Greens have agreed to stipulations, including allowing CPS caseworkers access to the home and drug-testing Bree.

Covert said a review hearing is scheduled in the first week of January, but he believes he can ask the case to be dismissed sooner.

Bree Green had been living in Port Huron throughout the case with Maria Green’s mother. The Greens plan to pick her up from the Department of Human Services today around 3:30.

“Bree will be in her own bed tonight,” Maria Green said.

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