Pregnancy Justice co-counsel Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP filed an application with the Oklahoma Supreme Court asking the court to put a stop to the prosecution of women for using lawfully prescribed medical marijuana during pregnancy. This suit was filed on behalf of Brittany Gunsolus against Kyle Cabelka, the district attorney of Comanche and Cotton counties.
In 2019, Oklahoma’s Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act (MMPPA) went into effect, legalizing medical marijuana in the state for all adults with a valid medical marijuana license from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. Despite this, several prosecutors have brought felony child neglect charges against pregnant women for using medical marijuana, in direct violation of the MMPPA’s protections against criminal or civil prosecution. Felony child neglect charges carry a potential life sentence.
During Ms. Gunsolus’ pregnancy, she received prenatal care and legally obtained a license to use medical marijuana edibles and lotion. In October 2020, she gave birth to a healthy baby, but her baby tested positive for THC. DHS investigated and found no evidence of neglect by substance abuse, reporting that Ms. Gunsolus’s home was a clean and “safe environment.” District Attorney Cabelka still charged her.