Mother Faces Up To 10 Years In Prison For Using Marijuana While Pregnant Rather Than Big Pharma Drug Which Causes Birth Defects
By Steve Elliott
An Alabama mother who faces up to 10 years in prison after using marijuana to treat her seizures while pregnant has started a funding campaign for her criminal defense.
Katie Darovitz, 25, of Russell County, suffers from epilepsy severe enough to keep her from driving or holding a job, reports Amy Yurkanin at Al.com. When she learned she was pregnant, she stopped taking her anti-epilepsy drugs -- which have been linked to birth defects -- and instead began using marijuana to prevent seizures.
For making the safest decision for her unborn child, she was arrested a couple of weeks after the December 2014 birth of her son after they both tested positive for marijuana. Alabama is one of a handful of backwards states where mothers can be prosecuted for "exposing a child to illicit drugs" under the state's "chemical endangerment of a child" law, simply for using a harmless, non-toxic, even healthful herb.
Marijuana is the substance most often cited in indictments and arrest reports for women arrested for drug use during pregnancy in Alabama, according to analysis of almost 500 criminal cases by Al.com and ProPublica. Darovitz faces up to a decade in prison if convicted.