Drug Law

Marijuana Activist Lisa Kirkman Fights to Get Her Son Back

| by Marijuana Policy Project

Lisa Kirkman has spent the last two years trying to regain custody of her 12-year-old son, Noah, and have him returned to their home in Calgary, Canada. Her dilemma, according to the Calgary Sun, is “on the verge of becoming an international incident.”

The saga stems from a 2008 trip Noah made to his visit his stepfather in Oregon. Noah, who reportedly suffers from several mental health issues, was stopped by police for riding a bike without a helmet, and through a still unclear chain of events and red tape, ended up being placed in a series of American foster homes.

Here’s the kicker: The reason authorities have been hesitant to give Noah back to his mother is because of her history with marijuana activism and a 2003 conviction for growing medical marijuana without a permit.

“As a result,” the Calgary Sun reports, “the court has forced her to undergo psychiatric evaluations, and parenting tests. Most telling of all, the court says she must swear off drugs before Noah can come home.”

This Friday, a judge in Oregon will decide if Noah can go back to his mother. Canadian MP Rob Anders has said he is ready to travel down to the States and bring Noah home, depending on the ruling.

Oregon, which passed medical marijuana through a ballot measure in 1998, recognizes the rights of patients to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. From all reports, Lisa Kirkman is a legal patient in Canada—her conviction is for growing her medicine without a permit. So why would they make her “swear off” a medicine recognized by both her native country and the state in which her son is being held? Furthermore, how can a judge deprive a mother custody of her son for being politically active on any issue? It wasn’t like she was exploiting her son by making him wear protest gear, which the last time I checked isn’t illegal in the U.S. either.

Lisa Kirkman is being interviewed on CNN later this afternoon. Hopefully they can bring her back Friday when she gets to experience a long overdue reunion with her son.