Parents shouldn’t be punished for helping their child

Letter to the editorThis letter is in regard to David, Angels and Trey Brown’s current circumstances that I heard about on the news. Specifically, parents of a boy who has been suffering with severe brain trauma and took it upon themselves to use un-prescribed marijuana oil to ease their boy’s pain. Do we not live in a country that boasts “The land of the free and the home of the brave?”

I believe the Browns have practiced their freedom and have been very brave. Though, I’m afraid they don’t feel that way, now that they have been charged with two gross misdemeanors, including child endangerment. As a parent who has been humbled by the suffering of my child and heard his cries of pain, I know that if anything would have made life easier for him I would have done the same thing.

It has nothing to do with freedom or bravery when your child is hurting so severely that they can’t function. It is a scary, dark, awful place to be. In 2004 my son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. In 2005, after surgeries, radiation and chemo therapy, he was so very, very sick. At my request our doctor from the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, MN, prescribed Marinol to my son in hopes that the legal marijuana (THC) oil would in any way ease his suffering.

The Marinol helped; his appetite and his mood improved. The Marinol did not save his life, but it did make the next year easier for him to live. Jay passed away in 2006 at home in my arms. He was brave to the end and freedom is his. When Angela Brown said “They would set the best example for those suffering,” I wanted to commend her, offer her strength and extend to her and her family my best wishes.

I ask Minnesota State Attorney Richard Stultz (the man responsible for taking the Browns to court) have you ever held a suffering child? What amount of freedom and bravery does it take to harass a family who are only trying to survive? I have three words for you sir, “Shame on you.” The undo stress you have caused this family is disgusting.

The State of Minnesota, whom you represent, owe the Brown family an apology and a pledge of unyielding support as they confront trauma moment by moment, sometimes day by day is too much to handle. It takes courage, the heart to do what is difficult. Forgive them for what they thought was best and help them to find the way in dark times.


Written by a mom in loving memory of her son Jay Daniel Hansen, March 1993 – May 2006.

Becky Hansen lives in Canby, MN.