Authorities in Alabama placed the toddler of a Michigan couple in foster care after they were arrested for cannabis possession, according to an AL.com report. The couple were heading back to their home state after Erika Prock picked up her husband, Todd, from his parents’ house and the couple had stopped for lunch when they were approached by a police officer who claimed to smell cannabis on Todd’s breath.
Todd admitted he had cannabis in the trunk of the vehicle and the officers arrested the couple and the state took custody of the child. In their home state of Michigan, cannabis has been legal since 2018. In Alabama, cannabis remains prohibited for any use.
“I don’t understand how the same situation in two different states can differ so drastically to the point where in one state your child is taken and put into foster care over marijuana and you’re charged with chemical endangerment but in another state, they consider it legal and safe and you go home to your family that night and never have to worry about your child being taken.”—Erika Prock to AL.com
The chemical endangerment charge, a felony, was originally created to target parents whose children were near methamphetamine laboratories, the report says.
Instead of going back to Michigan, the couple has moved into a tent behind Todd’s parents’ trailer while they fight the charges in both criminal and family court.
A prosecutor has already dismissed cannabis possession and public intoxication charges against Erika after she produced hospital discharge records for her sprained ankle—which led the arresting officers to conclude she had failed a field sobriety test —and two years of clean drug tests from a methadone clinic, the report says. Todd still faces a felony cannabis possession charge—for four-and-a-half ounces—and both still face the chemical endangerment charge.
In Michigan, possessing four-and-a-half ounces of cannabis would have led to a civil penalty similar to a traffic ticket.
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