Mother investigated over marijuana treatments for son

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Mother investigated over marijuana treatments for son
Posted by: admin Posted date: March 29, 2014 In: News
Mother investigated over marijuana treatments for son
Renee Petro’s son, Branden, who turned sick with FIRES, febrile an infection-associated epilepsy syndrome, in 2009. Petro says a chemical in marijuana may help management Branden’s seizures. FILE, JASON BEHNKEN / STAFF

TAMPA ­­— A Fishhawk lady who believes a medical marijuana by-product will assist save the lifetime of her mind-broken son is being investigated by authorities, apparently over a grievance that she gave the 12-yr-previous youngster the drug illegally.

Renee Petro, who was profiled in a Tampa Tribune story in January, acquired an unannounced go to from baby abuse investigators from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s workplace Tuesday. The sheriff’s workplace handles baby abuse investigations for the state Division of Youngsters and Households.

“I really feel like this was a violation of our rights. It feels completely insulting,” Petro informed the Tribune on Friday. “I’m making an attempt to concentrate on my youngster’s well being and getting him higher, and I’m doing it in a authorized method.”

Petro stated she has been giving her son, Branden, a authorized hemp oil “which you can purchase in any well being meals retailer,” however added, “I used to be livid. I swear to God I’ve not given Branden marijuana. If I used to be going to, I might transfer” to a state the place it’s authorized. “I’m disgusted with our system and the way they deal with individuals.”

Petro has been publicly advocating to legalize a special marijuana by-product that doesn’t include THC, the chemical in marijuana that causes a euphoric excessive, however does include cannabidiol, or CBD. Some physicians consider CBD can calm seizures in youngsters with Branden’s type of mind injury, brought on by an an infection.

Petro stated a sheriff’s deputy got here to her house Tuesday, arriving whereas she was choosing up her 9-yr-previous daughter from faculty, and stated she wanted to research an allegation that Petro was giving her son marijuana illegally and failing to provide him prescribed medicine.

She stated the deputy interviewed her and requested to interview her daughter individually. The deputy additionally photographed Branden, who had simply recovered from a seizure and was sleeping, in addition to the house, together with the youngsters’s rooms and the within of the fridge.

The deputy additionally requested to see Branden’s drugs, prescriptions, and blood check outcomes, Petro stated.

She stated the deputy questioned her daughter about whether or not she had seen Branden receiving his drugs.

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Petro stated she cooperated with all of the requests, however refused to permit drug checks of herself and Branden.

However she stated the incident has induced disruption and emotional trauma to her household.

“My daughter thinks they’re going to take her away, my son is seizing extra due to stress, and his dad is livid, asking if he wants to return again residence” from his army deployment, she stated.

Petro’s husband and Branden’s father, Fadi Petro, is an Military colonel who works with the U.S. diplomatic service and has spent eight of the final eleven years within the Center East. He’s not allowed to say the place or to speak about his work.

He usually comes residence for, at most, 4 visits a yr, he advised the Tribune in January, and may’t depart the Military as a result of the household is determined by Tricare, the army well being care program.

However Renee Petro stated Friday he has requested about the potential for a “compassionate deployment” again to the U.S. and has been informed he might get one if vital.

In the meantime, the Morgan & Morgan regulation agency, whose principal John Morgan is backing a constitutional modification drive to legalize medical use of marijuana in Florida, has provided Petro professional bono illustration, stated Ben Pollara, supervisor of the modification marketing campaign.

In a information launch, Pollara stated he was outraged by the occasion, including that it illustrates the necessity to move the modification.

“This story is sickening, nevertheless it’s sadly not the one one,” Pollara stated. “Throughout the state, there are individuals who really feel persecuted merely for wanting to provide their family members one of the best care out there.”

A DCF spokeswoman stated she couldn’t affirm or deny a pending youngster abuse investigation involving the household.

Hillsborough Sheriff’s Workplace spokesman Larry McKinnon stated the workplace couldn’t touch upon any particular investigation, however added, “Any baby abuse case that comes earlier than us shall be completely investigated, each for the safety of the kid and the accused.”

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Petro’s account of Branden’s sickness is heartrending.

He was as soon as a shiny, comfortable youngster — a ahead on the Fishhawk Elementary Faculty soccer staff who studied Hebrew and Arabic. He needed to be president and favored to flirt with women.

When the household was on a go to to her ancestral house within the Center East, Branden, then eight, was affected by a sudden, devastating an infection that left him comatose. He emerged from the coma with extreme mind injury, and needed to study to stroll and speak once more.

He was left with a type of epilepsy together with frequent seizures, extreme studying disabilities, suicidal melancholy, aggressiveness and withdrawal.

Renee Petro stated his frequent seizures typically depart him partially paralyzed and with problem respiration. She fears the seizures might kill him — or that he’ll hurt himself.

“I simply need my son again,” she stated.

In January, she went to Tallahassee to testify earlier than a legislative committee on legalizing a marijuana by-product referred to as “Charlotte’s Net,” excessive in CBD however low in THC. It was named for a Colorado baby whose seizures, just like Branden’s, it alleviated.

Laws to permit use of sure sorts of marijuana is shifting within the state Legislature, sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Orange Park, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Seashore. The Home and Senate payments have each handed committee stops with few “no” votes.

“I’ve been advocating for medical marijuana, however I’ve been doing it in a authorized method so we don’t find yourself the place we’re proper now,” Petro stated. “I’m making an attempt to go thourgh the system, via the legal guidelines, so we don’t need to uproot and transfer. I really feel like by advocating and talking up, individuals need to seize on that.

“I’m disgusted with our system and the way they deal with individuals.”

[email protected]


Tribune employees author James Rosica contributed to this report.


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