Parents, Pot, and Prohibition: Daisy Bram's Story

As her children were being taken away from her, Daisy Bram screamed, "My babies! My babies!"

In 2011, Daisy Bram and Jayme Walsh lived with their two small children, Thor and Zeus, in Butte County, California. Like so many other people in northern California, Bram and Walsh had medical marijuana recommendations and a small cannabis garden in their back yard. In September, their home was raided by Butte County sheriffs. Bram and Walsh were charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession with intent to sell, and child endangerment. Thor and Zeus were taken by Child Protective Services and placed in foster care for four months.

A year later, Bram gave birth to their third son, Invictus. With their Butte County cases still unresolved, Bram and Walsh decided to move their family to neighboring Tehama County.

In January of 2013, Tehama County sheriffs raided Bram and Walsh's new home. This time they found a cannabis garden in a locked room off the back of the house. Child Protective Services once again seized Bram and Walsh's children and placed them in foster care, where they remain to this day. On January 30, Tehama County officers seized Bram's car. Walsh is currently in jail with bail set at one million dollars. Bram is out on bail awaiting future court dates.

"There is nothing worse that someone can be accused of than doing something to harm their own children. If someone from the government is going to come after someone and make that accusation, they better have the ammunition ready to go," said Michael Levinsohn, Daisy Bram's attorney.

Learn more about Daisy's story at Green Aid and The Human Solution.

Approximately 7.5 minutes.

Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning.

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  • ||

    The child abuse charge is extremely ridiculous.

    I think the hot water they've gotten themselves into is that they were growing 50 plants. I'm not blaming the victim here, I certainly don't think that they deserved what happened, shit I don't think growing cannabis should be a crime, or the government's damn business.

    However, I think there is something to be said for being prudent. You've already been arrested and had your kids taken away from you for growing cannabis less than 2 years prior. Why on earth would you grow so many plants now?

    Also, I wonder what the probably cause was that the police had to be issued the search warrant.

  • ||

    probable* cause, jesus christ.

  • Iris56||

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  • sarcasmic||

    Grand theft auto. Kidnapping. Just another day in law enforcement.

  • sarcasmic||

    Stories like this are the reason I smile a broad smile whenever a law enforcement officer is killed.

  • Apocalyptic_Tourist||

    Bravo!

  • ColeLH||

    Harsh much?

  • ||

    Nothing harsh about it. They want public adoration yet willingly sign on for jobs to destroy people's lives. Fuck 'em.

  • ColeLH||

    Right...I'm sure every single police officer in the country signed on for the sole purpose of destroying people's lives. What a motivation!

  • Gene||

    Must concur with the sentiment.

  • Ortzinator||

    You're despicable. You're probably against the death penalty too. I wouldn't be surprised.

  • GW||

    Thor. Zeus. Invictus.

    Sounds like it was more than just medical use, man.

    Granted, they have the right to name their kids whatever they want. But we have the right to make fun of them for us.

  • Raston Bot||

    She has two options:

    1. Colorado
    2. Washington

  • ||

    Well, first she has to get her baby-daddy out of prison and get her children back.

  • RightNut||

    Ya one million dollars bail, I think his bail would be less if he was accused of rape.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    I'm not sure about that. Eric Holder's Federal thugs would stage a SWAT raid in those states.

  • entropy||

    It's none of my business what people name their poor children but I think the story would be more sympathetic if you left out the part about the potheads naming their kids Thor, Zeus, and Invictus.

  • HeatherF||

    Why are these people still growing pot?! It's nice and all to stand up for your rights, fight the power, whatever...but if you have children, they should take priority over EVERYTHING else. Period.

  • ||

    Yep. Bend over and take it.
    Period.

  • HeatherF||

    If you have three babies...yes...take it...find another line of "work" or wait til their grown to fight this battle.

  • ||

    Sort of agree, but the whole sacrifice all of your principles while rearing children thing is horseshit.

  • RightNut||

    Maybe I missed it but the video never mentions why they need the MJ. Its very possible one of the parents has a debilitating disease and without MJ they have a hard time functioning.

    Having to choose whether to suffer from disease or lose your children is no choice at all.

    Also if I was in her position when the ADA tried to seize her car, well, they would be arresting me for vehicular manslaughter as well as everything else.

  • ||

    That's fine and all, but 50 plants is a very high yield of dried cannabis. It's quite possible that they really do need that amount to treat their condition, but they don't mention that and I think that absence leaves a hole in their defense.

    If they don't need that much than Christ almighty, just grow 12 plants, just like the law says you can, especially because our children are in danger.

  • Paul.||

    I'm kind of reluctantly in agreement.

    I mean, I don't know what their background is, but they seem awfully committed to marijuana. I mean, risk-your-children committed to marijuana.

    They get arrested once, lose their kids, before their case is resolved, they get their kids back, head to another county (in the same fucking stupid-assed state) and start another marijuana grow operation.

    Again, not sure what their commitment to marijuana is, but it seems fairly high... high enough to risk custody of their kids... twice.

    If I were their attorney, I'd be strongly advising them to lay off the weed while these charges get handled.

    I wish them luck.

  • Libertymike||

    If I were their attorney, I'd know that they could barter for at least a portion of my fee.

  • Paul.||

    Luckily, they're being represented pro bono...

  • Logical 1||

    The government seizing assets from people accused (not even convicted!) of certain crimes NEEDS TO STOP!!!!!!!!!!

  • Paul.||

    I know it's a shit thing to ask after this woman has lost her kids to the zillion pound hammer of total government, but I'm hearing names like Zeus and Thor, and delivering in the bathtub... I'm wondering what her voting habits were before this incident, and what they'll be after.

  • Libertymike||

    Hopefully, she does not have a habit of choosing the lesser of two evils.

  • entropy||

    Invictus, man.

    Thor and Zeus, I was preparing to be understanding about. But then they come up with Invictus and I have to wonder if maybe they didn't smoke too much pot.

  • RightNut||

    I was expecting her third son would be named Raiden, in keeping with the whole thunder god theme.

  • mail@willowcreeksprings.n||

    I'm sure if the kids name was shaniqua everyone would be ok with them......

  • ||

    "I'm wondering what her voting habits were..."

    Same here.

  • paris1||

    It's a good thing she's good at being a mother, because she's damn sure not very good at growing fairly large quantities of pot withought getting caught. Jesus Christ, give me a break!

  • Paul.||

    In another sense, I'm still hopeful about the legalization efforts in Washington and Colorado going well. California's legalization has turned almost verbatim into the collossal mess that I predicted most legalization efforts would, if focussed on "medical marijuana".

    They can still turn it around (like anything can), but they're breaking a lot of eggs while making that omlette.

  • Paul.||

    Jesus, 4:25... these officious pricks really enjoy their jobs. I have one piece of advice, darlin': MOVE!

  • Gordilocks||

    These cops are shitstains. Fuck them.

  • Apocalyptic_Tourist||

    All cops

  • gaoxiaen||

    You're deprecating fecal material.

  • mdg||

    I definitely agree with everyone that the cops shouldn't be doing these things. They should be pursuing real criminals. That being said this couple knew the consequences of their actions since they have already been through this in 2011. They decided to continue their actions and placed their children in the same situation. I have no respect for the police officers and no sympathy for the couple.

  • Jeff C. Greeson||

    Ms. Bram's children were not removed from her custody because of marijuana use. They were removed when Ms. Bram and Jayme Walsh, the man Ms. Bram describes as her common-law husband, were arrested. When no qualified nearby relatives were located, social services placed the children in foster care.

    The criminal child abuse charges against Ms. Bram were based on an unsafe home due to broken Pyrex dishes and razor blades coated with hash, syringes with Xanax residue, and a "Twister" high-volume bud trimmer, all located in an area accessible by the older child. There was also marijuana bud located in multiple locations where the older child could reach, generator cables running through water puddles in the back yard near piles of toys, and text messages on Jayme Walsh's phone arranging marijuana sales with people in Pennsylvania.
    The defense has provided no evidence to indicate that Ms. Bram was, at the time of her arrest, a qualified patient under the Compassionate Use Act.

    Daisy Bram and Jayme Walsh are not medical cannabis patients unfairly persecuted by the state. They are interstate drug dealers, and their home was a poorly arranged industrial marijuana production facility, with needles, razors, industrial equipment, and marijuana products available to children.

    The Butte County District Attorney’s Office respects the will of California voters as it relates to legitimate marijuana use. Drug dealing and child endangerment, however, will not be tolerated.

  • Jeff C. Greeson||

    A detective from the Tehama County District Attorney’s office testified at Jayme Walsh’s February 13, 2013 preliminary hearing that Thor, the older child, tested negative for exposure to drugs. Invictus, the youngest child, tested positive for THC metabolites and indicated the possible presence of some kind of opiate (the results were below a “cutoff” value necessary for a definitive positive test.) Most troubling, however, was testimony regarding Zeus, the middle child. He tested positive for THC, morphine, and heroin. The mechanism of exposure is unknown.

    Tehama County officials apparently developed information indicating that Ms. Bram purchased the vehicle she was driving on January 29, 2013 with proceeds from drug sales, and seized it.

    The Tehama County case, like the case in Butte County, raises serious concerns for the health and safety of Ms. Bram and Mr. Walsh’s 3 young children. These cases are not about the medicinal use of marijuana, and they are not about breastfeeding. They are about drug dealers and the danger they pose to their children. Other than assisting in providing information, the Butte County law enforcement community has nothing to do with the allegations this couple faces in Tehama County.

  • mdg||

    Your post is actually more informative than the actual article. Now the article seems really deceptive.

  • Jeff C. Greeson||

    The above posts are excerpts from a letter provided to the producers of this article and video clip in March. They had this information for months, and chose not to use it. I am very disappointed that they did not include these facts that came from sworn testimony.

  • steve walsh||

    Paul, Alex, what say you?

  • RightNut||

    First off, props for a DDA posting in a unfriendly forum. However, the reason.tv producers probably didn't include the "facts" you've given because many of the charges sound trumped up, which can happen easily in prosecutions for drug charges.

    For example, if Jayme Walsh is the wannabee scar face Tehema county's charges and the $1,000,000 bail make him out to be, why did he only have 30 plants, and why grow them out in the open?

    As for the child endangerment charges, I call bullshit. If you walked into my home at the right time you would find: recreational drugs(alcohol), sharp objects(knives, saws), chemicals(bleach, paint removers), and on occasion broken glass all within reach of a 3 - 4 year old. I'm sure most households would fit your definition of being dangerous to children. As for the drugs found in the children, unless you have evidence that the low levels of opiates and THC present in the children are harmful at those levels and not just scary sounding, then that is not endangerment either.

  • JohnTheRevelator||

    Since an unannounced visit to almost anyone's home would find some things that could be spun as dangerous to children (hey they could maybe reach that butterknife in the sink!) I'm unconvinced by the charges of child endangerment. Maybe they left sharp tools on the floor in the playroom, but you're notably unspecific about that.

    The part where they were growing four times the legal number of plants is a better argument, and hey, kudos for making your case in the comments here instead of, say, taking the IRS approach...

  • ||

    He says areas accessible to the "older" child. So read between the lines, they were inaccessible to the younger kids.

    Which means they DID have some barrier preventing the younger kids from accessing these place, but CPS judged the barriers insufficient to keep out the older kid. Which is a subjective judgement.

  • crunchy.mama||

    I lived in the house where the Butte county raid took place.

    Accessible to the older child who was under 2 meant an unlocked door (no lock on the doorknob.) The child in question could not reach the doorknob and had not started to open doors yet, and his mama was home full time with him.

    The video is great but it muddies the waters a bit because we are talking about two cases against the same family. In the second raid which took place in Tehama county, there was no accessibility, nothing that could be interpreted as in reach, yet the children were still seized.

  • mail@willowcreeksprings.n||

    these "facts" are not always the way they are presented.....

  • wwhorton||

    Then you must be terribly distressed that no other journalists have used your information, either. I've just spent an hour trying to find a news article that mentioned anything about Xanax, heroin, or any of the other hobgoblins you mentioned, without success. I find it very suspicious that you can point to such damning evidence and yet haven't been able to prove intent to distribute.

    Bravo to you for posting in an adversarial environment, but forgive me if I treat your claims with a healthy dose of skepticism.

  • Gene||

    Goddamn facts interfering with my righteous indignation again.

  • IceTrey||

    Why do drug dealers pose any more of a danger to there children than say a liquor store owner or a doctor with access to prescription drugs?

  • crunchy.mama||

    Can you explain why Dr. William Courtney, a respected doctor and researcher who has testified for the defense, was informed while in court on the Bram's case that your office has turned in his name for Federal investigation?

    There is an aura of revenge and lying all over this case. Whether or not the parents were illegally selling a nontoxic, cancer curing plant, their children are theirs, and unless a trial by jury finds them guilty of felony child abuse and revokes their parental rights, they have the right as parents to assign a legal guardian for their children during any jail time. Keeping the kids in foster care keeps the kids in the system, earning money for the state.

    Now that the children are again in Butte county custody, why have they not been returned to their mother? Is she no longer willing to submit to drug testing, as she did before? I believe the mother is being punished for speaking at the NORML conference this year and for refusing to cop a plea.
    False positives happen, trace amount of opiates in the NEW baby who is nursing a lot and only gets nutrients through mama, and larger amounts in the the toddler who is nursing less and eating the same food mama eats completely make sense. Snopes says it's not a myth, and just one poppy seed bagel can show up as metabolites 48 hours after ingesting.

    There is no excuse for the way this family has been treated.

  • Tptysupporter||

    In total agreement here. I am sure that if couple had any assets the government would have taken them....maybe she should just go on welfare and get a free phone...but no she is trying to be responsible and raise her kids....and the government, well they need to worry more about securing the Border and arresting the Cartel members. How about the lady who went to MX for a funeral and is now in jail???? The only difference btwn MX and us is that the corruption is out in the open!!! Stay out of our lives and reestablish common sense and freedom, give Daisy back those children. No one could ever love babies more than there parents, no one. Government go home. As for the DA posting here....what a piece of work that guy is????? Liars and truth twisters are getting away with their distortions and innocent people are suffering....You sir are an abomination to society.

  • ||

    unsafe home due to broken Pyrex dishes and razor blades coated with hash, syringes with Xanax residue, and a "Twister" high-volume bud trimmer, all located in an area accessible by the older child. There was also marijuana bud located in multiple locations where the older child could reach, generator cables running through water puddles in the back yard near piles of toys, and text messages on Jayme Walsh's phone arranging marijuana sales with people in Pennsylvania.

    You know, while you paint a nasty seeming picture, but say those things were accessible to the "older" child only. Which means they were inaccessible to the younger chilren, which means they weren't exactly lying around and the definition of what is accessible to the "older" child, may be subjective. Whether the "older" child could plausibly possibly access them is a bit like saying that if I leave bleach in a cupboard with only a baby-safe lock on it, that my 5 year old could break, then I'm "endangering" bmy 5 year old, because under some scenario,m he might, possibly be able to break the lock and drink the bleach.

    Futhermore, the fact that the older child might be able to reach some maraijuana bus isn't even endangerment, because marijuana isn't tasty raw. The kid isn't going to just sit there and munch on some plants for fun.
    That's like saying that if I own a rose bush, I have to put a fence around it because of the chance that the kid might eat it and scratch his throat on those thorns.

  • ||

    who, you don't have a fence around your rose bush?!

    What kind of monster are you?

  • crunchy.mama||

    Can you explain why police visited the house before the raid for the "compliance check" and said all was fine? I don't recall if that detail made it into the very compressed video above, but it's a fact.

    Can you explain how it would take 4 months to get a breastfeeding infant and toddler back into their mother's arms, when all the conditions you mentioned above had been mitigated either by your raid or the people living in the house?

    Child abuse charges against the Brams were dropped December 1st 2011. Children (Thor and Zeus) were returned to their parents January 20th, 2012. NORML Women's Alliance submitted a petition to the Grand Jury to investigate county CPS, because their removal rates are the highest in the state, March 9th, 2012

    http://norml.org/about/item/re.....estigation

    So why were the child abuse charges against the parents refiled in April 2012? No new evidence had surfaced.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    My friend's dog is named Zeus. True story.

  • Schultz||

    Another example of law enforcement and D.A.'s attempting to justify their bloated budget. If the true budget were revealed, the law enforcers would be out of a job because they wouldn't be needed. They're nothing but a parasitic growth festering on other people's money. They make a career from the poor and defenseless just like the cop taking away her car.

    It's a sure bet that there's corruption within those county Sheriff and D.A. offices.

    If they were really going after criminals, they wouldn't be going after harmless people.

  • Montani Semper Oppressi||

    At the least these two are guilty of being incredibly stupid. Growing all those plants out in the open in their own home, given the circumstances of current drug policy, was dumb even if well intentioned.

    I don't know much about cannabis growing and I've never cultivated illicit drugs but if I did, it wouldn't be in my own house. Maybe somewhere on the fringes of my property but not in the house where my kids sleep.

    Given the holistic leanings and the names of their children I'd bet my next paycheck these two voted for Obama in '08 which makes it incredibly hard for me to care.

  • Schultz||

    Considering your willing to compromise because it's logical to adhere to bullies because someday government will change its policy all on its own, did you vote for Mittens?

  • ||

    You can grow cannabis in as little as a closet, and that will yield a good amount of dried cannabis a few months later.

    The stupidity was growing such a huge amount, especially if they moved to CA to take advantage of the state's medicinal cannabis laws.

    Why move if you are going to ultimately break those regulations anyway?

  • crunchy.mama||

    Green rush. It's going to be legal, and you want to be an established producer.

    And no, you can't grow good bud in a closet unless you are running ventilation and CO2, and then only a tiny amount.

    The amount being grown was NOT huge by California standards at all. This was not a grow that you could find on Google Maps. There was no bulldozing or chemical dumping. It was a straightforward backyard operation in pots, like many you could find in Humboldt county.

    The response of law enforcement is the big difference. No one would lose their kids over this in Humboldt, or Mendocino, or Trinity, or Santa Cruz.

  • crunchy.mama||

    I lived in the house where the Butte county raid took place. Our landlady and her husband had a "medical" grow there for a couple years prior to his death, so no, it wasn't a stupid place to grow, at all, and the landlady had full knowledge of what went on there.

    I have holistic leanings, didn't vote for Obama, I'm a Ron Paul girl, but I believe Reason did have an op-ed that supported libertarians in doing so. You can't judge a person by their vote.

  • Schultz||

    I used to live in Butte County and I know the surrounding counties as well. They're the most country bumpk'n areas in the west. It's not at all gangstaville. There's no need to raid people's houses like this.

  • mail@willowcreeksprings.n||

    A quote from lead detective Oscar Valenzuela as he testified in my trial"yes we lie, we lie through our teeth" in reference to undercover work. I have sat in many trials and have first hand knowledge of law enforcement lying under oath many many times. A DA to twist "truths" to change public perception and thwart support??? beyond reason? I think not...
    We are way too quick to believe what our "public servents" tell us and too slow to think for ourselves..

    take an afternoon and sit in on a trial and see for yourself
    any trial, not just one that we support
    be the solution

  • Tptysupporter||

    YOu are so right :) The "gov't officials" lie every chance they get. I don't think people are aware of how they distort the truth until they have to deal with it personally. Listen to what the victim of law enforcement abuse says, they will give it to you straight!! Once the "law" starts persecuting you ...they don't stop. They will keep after you with lies and false accusations until they kill any part of you that survives. I sure hope Daisy gets her children returned.
    Kathie's Cuz, Vickie

  • Jeff C. Greeson||

    To see what happened with the case:

    http://www.chicoer.com/breakin.....ent-counts

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