Black Family In Tennessee Reunited Following Cannabis Arrest, 5 Children Return Home From DCS Custody

Zinger Key Points
  • In Tennessee, both medical and recreational use of marijuana is still considered illegal.
  • A push to legalize medical marijuana statewide died in the Senate Judiciary Committee last month.

Tennessee patrol officers pulled over a Black family in Coffee County in February because of tinted car windows. After conducting a vehicle search, the officers found five grams of cannabis.

Bianca Clayborne and Deonte Williams' five children were subsequently placed in the custody of the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) and Williams was arrested for cannabis possession (considered a misdemeanor in the Volunteer State).

After nearly two months, the children were returned home, reported Tennessee Lookout citing attorney Courtney Teasley.

“The family is planning a celebration in their hometown,” Teasley said. “We will follow up with a press conference and celebration in Nashville in about a week or so after the family has gotten to enjoy time together and reclaim so much unnecessary lost time.”

What Happened?

In addition to having tinted windows (car windows in Tennessee must allow more than 35% of light in), the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Clayborne and Williams were also driving in the left passing lane on I-24.

The Georgia-based family was traveling to a family funeral in Chicago.

While Clayborne had been cited and released with her five children — ages 7, 5, 3, 2 and four months — the DCS appeared six hours later.

Urine drug screens showed Williams had tested positive for THC, while Clayborne tested negative.

However, both supposedly tested positive for methamphetamines, oxycodone and fentanyl after undergoing a rapid hair follicle test.

Following a juvenile court hearing in March, the DCS took the children into custody.

The Case Of Racism?

Theeda Murphy, executive director of the No Exceptions Prison Collective and one of many family supporters, blasted the state of Tennessee, saying it "has no love for black children."

"I’m here to tell you that, baby, it is 2023, not 1823,” Murphy said. “We are going to fight for our children and we’re going to win.”

The DCS maintains that many of the agency’s front-line workers are from Black communities.

“The case managers that are working this case, they do come from diverse backgrounds,” Alex Denis, a spokesperson for the agency, said a month ago.

In Tennessee, both medical and recreational use of marijuana is still considered illegal. A push to legalize medical marijuana statewide died in the Senate Judiciary Committee last month.

Photo: Courtesy of RODNAE Productionsby Pexels

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsTopicsMarketsGeneralCourtney TeasleyDCSmarijuana legalizationracismTennessee cannabisTheeda Murphy
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