By Rena McCain
Hello, everyone! I hope today finds you well!
I want to share this story about Peggy Kimmel and Glenn Keeling and what our legal system here in the United States has done to their lives. It’s tragic that people have to fight for their health this way and I would encourage anyone who is moved by this story to reach out and show your support in any way that you can. No one should have to endure this.
So this couple that I know, Peggy Kimmel and Glenn Keeling, are from Ohio. In June of 2016, Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed HB 523 making cannabis medically legal as of September 8, 2016. This made it legal to seek doctor recommendations for medical cannabis. This is exactly what Kimmel and Keeling did!
Keeling suffers from Crohn’s Disease. And, in accordance with the law, his doctor recommended cannabis, issuing a medical cannabis card that Keeling believed allowed him to legally buy and use cannabis as medicine.
According to Keeling, the cannabis was helping him deal with the disease.
“I was able to eat better,” Keeling told Duane Pohlman, a reporter with Local 12 WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio. “I had more of an appetite. I was able to get out of bed.”
Who wouldn’t want to feel better and get out of bed?”
Kimmel, who was issued a medical cannabis card by the same doctor, said the cannabis she was using to treat her MS was a miracle medicine.
“I could walk without using a cane or a walker,” Kimmel said.
Additionally, the cannabis had replaced dozens of pills, shots and other pharmaceuticals that a biopsy had revealed were harming her liver. Just, wow!
So, it really is one thing to knowingly break the law. But it’s quite another when it’s legal and recommended on doctor’s orders. But seemingly this is exactly what’s happening there in Ohio. This couple is facing a dozen charges and could lose custody of their daughter for legally medicating with cannabis.
Keeling is currently facing 16 drug charges. His wife, Kimmel, is facing 15 drug charges after police showed up with a search warrant on October 31, 2018.
When Village of Rockford, Ohio police officers and Mercer County Sheriff’s Deputies came to their home on Halloween night, Keeling said he led them straight to the cannabis. The cops that came and arrested them didn’t care that they had been issued valid medical cannabis cards. What an injustice when law enforcement officials are not even aware of the laws they are supposed to be enforcing! Or even worse, when they don’t care to educate themselves, either.
Even Kimmel’s 14-year-old daughter, Tina Lane, said it was clear that her mother was improving on cannabis-based medicines.
“My mom could walk.” Tina said.
Along with all the other charges, her mother and stepfather also face a count of child endangerment, even though Mercer County Child and Family Services, which investigated the case closed their case without any action, stating in a letter that the “family has many strengths, including a desire to protect Tina and provide for her basic needs.”
“They feel that she is safer with us than anywhere else,” Kimmel noted.
But that night, the entire family’s sense of security was shattered. Keeling left in handcuffs and would spend nearly a month behind bars.
Moving forward, Mercer County Prosecutor, Matt Fox, was in Mercer County Court at Keeling and Kimmel’s arraignments. Fox argued that bond for the pair included the usual conditions: “That they don’t consume alcohol or drugs and subject themselves to random testing,” Fox told the judge.
Eric Allen, Kimmel’s attorney argued the condition be changed to allow his client to use an essential medicine: marijuana.
“Over the past few months there have been an increasing number of lesions on her brain. Using medical marijuana tends to alleviate some of her suffering.” Allen told the judge.
So, like a decent human being and in accordance with the law, Judge Jeffrey Ingraham issued bond conditions for Kimmel that includes use of medical marijuana under a doctor’s supervision. So they can use it legally, but are up on charges for also using it legally. How does this happen?
When asked if she would like to say anything to the prosecutor, Kimmel didn’t hesitate.
“I am not a criminal.” Kimmel said. “I would not ever break the law on purpose of any kind.”
They are both free on bond, but struggling financially because this has been a very costly, in more ways than one. They have been fighting for 19 months, and have finally been “granted permission” to use their medical cannabis. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get because of the financial hardship the state has imposed on them.
Please visit the links below to know more about this couple and where they are now in their fight for their lives, or make a quick call to Mercer County Prosecutor Matt Fox at 419-586-8677. Please ask that all charges against Peggy Kimmel and Glenn Keeling be dropped.
Thank you! One team, one dream?
Sign the petition: https://www.change.org/p/matt-fox-no-criminal-charges-for-medical-marijuana-patients?recruiter=269537161&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_abi&recruited_by_id=203061a0-d920-11e4-8959-d100ed686160&share_bandit_exp=abi-17131326-en-US&share_bandit_var=v3&utm_content=fht-17131326-en-us%3Av2
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the MONTROSE STAR.