An 18-month infant was seized from a Michigan couple and placed in foster care after the two parents were arrested for possession of marijuana in Alabama.
Ericka Prock and her husband Todd Prock were en route to their home state after visiting her in-laws’ in Alabama and had stopped for lunch when they were encountered by police who were responding to a disturbance call. One of the police officers claims that they smelled cannabis on Todd’s breath.
Todd then voluntarily told police that he had marijuana in the trunk of his car. In the Procks’ home state of Michigan, cannabis has been legal since 2018.
In Alabama, the plant remains subject to prohibitionist laws outlawing cannabis for any use.
The two were slapped with felony charges originally created to target parents who kept their children near meth labs and their child Braxton was taken from them, according to AL.com. Now, the entire family has been trapped in a nightmarish situation for possessing a substance legal in their home state and for most people across the United States.
Speaking to AL.com, Erika Prock said:
“I don’t understand how the same situation in two different states can differ so drastically to the point where in one state your child is taken and put into foster care over marijuana and you’re charged with chemical endangerment but in another state, they consider it legal and safe and you go home to your family that night and never have to worry about your child being taken.”
Rather than returning to Michigan, the Procks are now living in a tent behind Todd’s parents’ residence where they intend to stay while fighting the strict charges in criminal and family court.
So far, prosecutors have dismissed cannabis possession and public intoxication charges versus Erika after she produced hospital records proving she had a sprained ankle – hence her failure in a field sobriety test – as well as records from a methadone clinic proving she has been sober for two years.
However, Todd still faces felony cannabis possession charges for possessing four-and-a-half ounces of the plant. They also still both face chemical endangerment charges.
In the Procks’ home state of Michigan, possession of four-and-a-half ounces of cannabis would have simply entailed them paying a civil penalty similar to a traffic ticket.
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