Mother fears losing daughters over medical cannabis use

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – It has not been an easy transition for many since the passage of the Utah Medical Cannabis Act or Proposition 2 late last year. There are families caught in the middle of a new law, often misunderstood and at times unclear for those enforcing the law.

Emily Roberts is one of them.

“I am terrified every time I go to court my kids will be taken,” said Roberts at a press conference Tuesday.

It’s a real fear because it’s happened before.

Two decades ago, Roberts was in a car crash leaving her with chronic back and nerve pain. None of the pain medications worked until she tried medical cannabis.

“For the first time in 20 years, I could walk pain-free,” said Roberts.

Her greatest fear came true when she and her family hit a rough spot, losing their home and so much more.

“Our world came crashing down. DCFS took our kids arguing their living condition was not stable for their liking. You can imagine for our young girls separated from us for the first time in their lives,” said Roberts.

The courts then ordered drug tests.

“Instead of medical cannabis with THC, I enrolled in the state-sponsored CBD oil research program and my pain was under control,” said Roberts.

But the drug tests still came back positive.
“I failed a court-ordered drug test because I was simply taking CBD. The judge didn’t like this and DCFS said I was breaking the law even though I wasn’t,” said Roberts.

Dr. DJ Schanz, Chairman of the Utah Cannabis Association says government agencies and Emily’s judge are disregarding the law.

“These patients are not criminals. We’re going to continue to remain vigilant and make sure we tighten up these laws and continue to help patients,” said Schanz.

Because of the constant threat of her kids being taken from her a second time, she has stopped taking CBD.

“I stopped taking the CBD against my doctor’s orders and the pain has returned in full force. I am being forced to choose between pain and my kids. This is cruel,” said Roberts.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...