CLAIRE BERNISH–As a father suffering from hepatitis C, Michael Brooks exhausted every pharmaceutical option available to treat the disease and extend his time on Earth with loved ones, before ultimately turning to medical cannabis — a move which, indeed, changed everything.

“It saved my life,” Brooks declared to the State of Tennessee of the THC-intensive oil responsible for vastly improved health, in a hearing discussed at a later point in this article.

As definitive as his statement seemed, not everything came up roses for the devoted dad — despite medical cannabis having facilitated the best health of Brooks’ more than four decades alive.

In fact, two years after his impassioned plea to his state of residence, Brooks languishes on the brink of death, gaunt, pale — and without his kids to treasure the precious remaining last moments of his existence — because government.

Yes, literally.

Twenty-five years after Michael Brooks contracted hepatitis C — a disease affecting the liver, often without any noticeable symptoms, which can cause serious damage, cirrhosis, cancer, and even death — and, now married, the infection began wreaking havoc with his health.

A multitude of pharmaceuticals having proffered no benefit — instead, adding adverse effects — Brooks and his wife, whom High Times’ Russ Belville did not name and who also suffers from hep C, turned frantically to medical cannabis oil, in the haven known for an explosion in the population of medical refugees: Colorado.

And it worked. Belville explains,

“Within a few heavy treatments of the oil, his viral load was undetectable. Not only had he beaten back hepatitis C, he was in the best health of his life. He had never known how ill he had always been, because he had always been ill. For the first time, he told me, he felt healthy — he felt like what most people take for granted.

“Then, from the highest high of relief and gratitude for his discovery of medical marijuana, he was plunged within a few months into the lowest depths of depression and despair.

“Michael couldn’t stay in Colorado. He returned to Tennessee to raise his family. Having recovered so well with the use of medical marijuana, he and his wife had a second little boy, making him a new father at the age of 48, to go along with their first son who was closing in his second birthday.”

Everything went along swimmingly, it seemed, until the couple decided to seek health assistance from the State of Tennessee for their two boys’ developmental disabilities — acquired through lead poisoning.

That request would be conditional to a urine test — which Michael agreed to — and failed with flying colors, stunning medical staff, who balked when recording highest concentration of THC in a person’s blood they’d ever seen.

‘How did he manage this feat?’ they wondered, their trained, non-legal-state suspicions piqued.

“It’s my medicine,” Brooks plainly told officials two years ago. “That’s why I’m even able to be before you today. It saved my life.”

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Although Belville doesn’t elucidate on whether the motivation for Brooks’ candor lay beyond any legal obligation for it, that the desperate father pled with a truth backed by a plethora of government and independent studies — and which undoubtedly improved quality and time spent with his boys — should have been a watershed moment for Tennessee officials.

Embarrassingly for them, it wasn’t.

“Within 24 hours, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) had been contacted. They showed up at Michael’s house and took away his two little boys,” High Times reports.

Let that sink in. Father in ill health discovers the only medicine yet to veritably cure his grave predicament, improving symptoms and ability to parent — and the State rewards him by forcefully fracturing the family and traumatizing two kids, too new to life to comprehend anything other than, ‘Why isn’t daddy here?’

Because Michael’s medicine came from nature — not a pill bottle.

Visits with his own kids required he pass obligatory drug screenings — so, the despondent father quit the cannabis regimen. It took less than five months for an onslaught of symptoms to destroy all progress and leave Michael even worse off than before cannabis treatment.

“Michael could visit his boys for a couple of hours every two weeks, but Tennessee has canceled those visitations for the last three months,” Belville continues. “Michael says DCS told him it was for the good of the children, because every time their visitation with Michael and his wife ends, the boys become distraught and traumatized when they are returned to their foster parents.”

He quite eloquently adds, “Yeah, no shit.”

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It would take a vacuous dimwit not to see this situation for the atrocity of logic and human rights it is; yet — due to the inanity of geographical happenstance of residence inside the border of these apparently Disparate States — two toddlers have been ripped from a father who gives so much of a shit about their future, he didn’t bother lying about his Colorado cannabis cure to Tennessee officials, who recoiled and Just Said No, thus, condemning dad to quickened death for outstanding parenting.

In no place but Dante’s treacherous 9th Circle of Hell does this sequence of arduously authoritarian events even make sense — much less, display sterile compassion — particularly when weighed against any possible negative aspects of Michael’s use of cannabis purely for medicinal reasons.

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This writer, and undoubtedly countless others, summarily concur with Belville’s redux of this real-life totalitarian Greek tragedy permitted to have happened in this supposedly freedom-cherishing ‘exceptional’ nation in modern times,

“What Tennessee is doing is evil.”

You agree — and want to do something? Contact Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and, considerately, express your feelings or assessment of the situation concerning Tennessean Michael Brooks and his beloved children, through the contact form, here.

Additionally, “Send one with all the love and kindness you can spare to Let him know there are people out there who care and are fighting every day to end this vicious war on people who use marijuana.”

This is what happens when the cure for your disease isn’t approved in the individual Police State of your residence.

  • tom

    What a bunch of morons to put this man in the position he is in! This only reinforces the commonly-held notion that government “doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the people!” Wow I guess those Tennessee “:officials” who stuck it to this peaceful man must think they are super-patriots today for protecting the people of Tennessee from the devil’s weed! The Big Pharma people responsible for keeping unhealthy Pharma drugs ON THE MARKET and healthy alternatives like weed OFF THE MARKET should be ashamed of themselves. They are not real Americans but whores to a tyrannical state!

  • don sheets

    Stupid people in stupid governments, just trying to show us all how stupid they can get. Oh and how doe’s this fit in with: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you?

    • gmatch

      Face it there is only really one government on the Earth which acts murderous and stupid: USA.

  • Tom

    When will we see “marijuana migration” in this country, people voting with their feet from states that still practice this state-sponsored hate crime against cannabis users to states that have legalized it? This guy should have gotten out of Tennessee long before this happened.

  • Michael Alan Keith

    Harvoni can cure Hep C. The article is not accurate.

    • PJ London

      ‘For a typical 12-week course of treatment, the tab will be $94,500, according to Gilead, the company making the drug.’
      Are you a shareholder in manufacturer Gilead?
      ‘The drug is approved to treat chronic hepatitis C genotype 1, the most common type of infection. According to the CDC, 3.2 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C’
      A cool $300 billion, what is not to like?
      Whereas THC costs just cents.
      Plus of course, Harvoni does not cure all Hep C cases, so yes it ‘can’ cure ‘some’ Hep C.

      • Michael Alan Keith

        The first paragraph says, “Michael Brooks exhausted every pharmaceutical option available to treat the disease.”

        This cannot be true. It may be that he could not afford the drug. No, I do not work for the company. I saw an advertisement for the drug and remembered it.

        • PJ London

          It is more than three years since he was tested, and he was in Tenn for some time before he asked for assistance.
          ‘Everything went along swimmingly, it seemed, until the couple decided to seek health assistance from the State of Tennessee for their two boys’ developmental disabilities — acquired through lead poisoning.’. His youngest was born in Tenn and then acquired lead poisoning.
          So you can assume that he was at least a year old. That is three years minimum and probably more according to the article.
          In fact his children look to be about 3 and 5, in light of their problems more likely 4 and 6.
          Harvoni was only released in sometime in 2014.
          So at the time he started THC, yes it was true.
          ‘Michael Brooks, father of two small sons, is a resident of a small town in Tennessee where any form of cannabis use is illegal, including medical marijuana. Michael discovered he had Hepatitis C, for which he began taking all of the traditional pharmaceuticals he could in hopes of finding some relief, but nothing helped… until he found out about Cannabis oil. ‘
          It may not yet be released for Hep C 3 or 4.
          ‘ It has also been evaluated for the treatment of infection with other hepatitis C genotypes, and has shown promising results in genotypes 3 and 4’
          So you are making some major assumptions when declaring that ‘This cannot be true.’

        • desertspeaks

          oh goody, you saw an advertisement and regurgitate it as though it’s FACT… you’re pathetic!

    • desertspeaks

      and you know this of course from your personal firsthand irrefutable experience, right?? or are you just regurgitating hearsay?

  • amuncat

    The gober’ment knows best! A few years from now they will all thank it! Pathetic!

  • desertspeaks

    what is alleged to be your government is nothing more than private corporations, and YES your state, counties, city’s, town’s, agencies, districts, courts, police departments, ALL OF IT ARE PRIVATE FOR PROFIT CORPORATIONS.. don’t try to find out who the stock holders are though, they REFUSE to release that information.. but it’ ain’t you!
    Now all these corporations masquerading as your government are controlled, owned or bribed by bigger corporations.. such as PHARMACEUTICAL corporations, who buy and OWN the agents of what is alleged to be your government!
    Thou shalt not heal thyself with NATURAL CURES! your treatment must be with PHARMACEUTICAL POISONS officially sponsored by your bribed bought and owned politicians!

  • suezz

    morons plain and simple morons. wth was the man doing. trying to raise a family. something the medical industry refuses to research saved his life but yet he gets a jail term.

    you can’t fix stupid or corrupt.

  • suezz

    morons plain and simple morons. what was the man doing. trying to raise a family. something the medical industry refuses to research saved his life but yet he gets a jail term.

    you can’t fix stupid or corrupt.

    • gmatch

      In America if you can’t afford to have children – you should not have them. All what this people are doing is providing the fodder for the Nazi law enforcement, the military or the prison system.

  • dso1

    Common sense is dead.

  • gmatch

    Whats wrong – after all this is the doing of the ‘Great Democracy’! Just love it!


    • ScroodeMcDuck

      We are a Constitutional Republic with individual rights. The victims of “Democracy” ( Mob rule ) have given up those protected rights for government privilages.

      If more Americans knew what their political and citizenship status were there would not be this kind of injustice. But … Ignorance abounds and proper education wanes. The deception is very deep, unbelievable to most.

      Government by the Treachery and Deception of Words

  • Bob Btme

    don’t forget the callous oligarchs now hold the cure to Hep C, but extort sick people for 85 grand to give it to them. Price gouging is all the rage among wealthy Pharma elite families.

    Just take a look at Christie’s fat ass on the beach! Pharma is huge in New Jersey. He is their paid hand. We sure as hell didn’t elect him.

  • Forebearance

    The ultimate hypocrisy and irony once you know we invaded Afghanistan to restart the heroin pipeline which has flooded America with high-grade heroin and triggered the prescription opioid epidemic that kills 10’s of 1000’s every year. Then the CIA’s black ops in Nicaragua while Clinton was Arkansas governor and protecting the landing strip at Mena where the untraceable weapons went down to the Contras and the DC-10’s flew back with tons of cocaine, not to mention when Air America was smuggling heroin from Southeast Asia in the dead bodies of soldiers during the Viet Nam war. The biggest drug dealer in the country is the country!

  • Fingal Carson

    If you can’t stop eating wheat, burned animal gunk, sugar and junk food and start a real diet, some exercise, and supplementation, then the joke’s on you. No one needs cannabis or hemp. You can have your plant, but go move where it’s legalized. It should be on a state-by-state basis.

    While the whole culture acts like cannabis is some sort of magical plant, it is another distraction keeping people away from the truth. YOUR body, YOUR responsibility. Cannabis removes this responsibility, and regular use removes you from reality. Just what’s needed now — NOT!