MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – How far would you go to make sure your child is getting the treatment they need for an illness? A family in Twiggs County was willing to break the law in Georgia.
Now, the Macon couple has lost custody of their 15 year-old ailing son, and the two are facing jail time for purchasing drugs illegally on the street to treat his illness.
“My opinion of that is really irrelevant, whatever the law is, it’s my job to enforce it. So, I mean that’s just the way that is,” said Twiggs County Sheriff Darren Mitchum.
Since the story broke, people everywhere have expressed sympathy for the parents. Meanwhile, Mitchum says he’s gotten the opposite response.
Instead, authorities in Twiggs County have seen outrage from across the country over the arrest of Matthew and Suzanna Brills.
“You *bleeping* try to take my kids you see what happens, I’ll *bleeping* shoot you all you piece of *bleep*.”
That was just one of the calls Sheriff Mitchum says he received following the arrest.
“I understand the parents are apparently doing what they may think is the right thing. But the fact is that as of today, marijuana is not legal in the state of Georgia to possess or smoke or use for recreational use,” Mitchum said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
The couple was taken into custody and charged for giving their 15 year-old son marijuana as a remedy to his seizures.
“The mother, Mrs. Brill, she was the first one that they made contact with and the investigator, told her what they were there for and she said ‘yes, that is true, we do, and I know it’s illegal and I’m willing to face the jail time or the consequences for it if it’ll help my son’.”
Sheriff Mitchum addressed the incident saying he stands by his officer’s decision to arrest the two.
“I think he would have been negligent having stood there and heard what he heard in person, had he not acted on the behalf that the way he did. Somebody’s got to stand up for this child and on behalf of the child’s welfare,” Mitchum went on.
The Brills have been charged with reckless conduct and their son is now in state custody.
According to Mitchum, both parents knew it was illegal but were willing to take the risk to help their son’s condition.
Aside from those on the registry for medical cannabis oil, marijuana is illegal to possess in the state of Georgia.
A DFACS case worker initially made the call to the sheriff’s office to have the Brills arrested.
Sheriff Mitchum says this case is one for the Department of Family and Child Services to investigate and not about right or wrong. For him, it’s about upholding the oath he took to enforce the law.