Idaho Mom Gives Daughter Marijuana Smoothie To Stop Seizures

By Kelly Burch 11/09/16

Though the mother was charged with misdemeanor injury to a child, she stands by her choice.

Idaho Mom Gives Daughter Marijuana Smoothie To Stop Seizures
Kelsey Osborne Photo: YouTube

An Idaho mother has lost custody of her two children after giving her three-year-old daughter a smoothie with marijuana-infused butter in an attempt to treat the little girl’s seizures.

Kelsey Osborne, 23, told KPNX that her daughter Madyson has a history of seizures. One morning the seizures were particularly bad. Madyson was withdrawing from Risperdal, a prescription drug used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder that she was taking to help alleviate her seizures. Desperate, Osborne thought that marijuana might help.

"To me I felt like it was my last resort," she said. Half an hour later, the seizures had stopped, she said.

However, Osborne later took Madyson to the doctor, where the girl tested positive for marijuana. The doctor’s office called the state Department of Health and Welfare, and Madyson and her two-year-old brother were placed in the custody of their father. Osborne was charged with misdemeanor injury to a child. However, she pleaded not guilty and stands by her choice. 

“I knew for a fact it would help,” Osborne told the Idaho Statesman. “I knew it would help her, and it did. She laid down for a nap right after. She was begging me to help her, and the only thing I could think of was to give her some cannabis. I knew it would help.”

In Idaho, marijuana is illegal for medical and recreational use. "Marijuana is illegal, period,” said Tom Shanahan of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. 

Cannabidiol oil—made from a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis—is sometimes used to treat children with epilepsy. "It's a totally different substance and I think people confuse that,” Shanahan said.

However, that treatment is also illegal in Idaho, aside from an experimental group in Boise that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Giving a child marijuana is never a sound decision, Shanahan said. “Even in states that have legalized it it's not legal to give to children,” he said. "It can cause brain development issues with a child, so we view that as unsafe or illegal. We want children to be in a safe place.”

Meanwhile, Osborne is fighting to regain custody of her children. "I didn't ever think it would come down to this, but it did. It tore me apart,” she said. 

She even held a rally with Idaho Moms for Marijuana outside the Department of Health and Welfare, holding a sign that said “Marijuana is safer than CPS.” 

"It's something that I'm going to fight for and I'm not going to give up until I have them back home where they have been begging me to be," Osborne told Fox 42. "I'm not going to stop. I won't stop. If it takes me two years, then it's going to take me two years."

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.