Another example of reefer madness on the front page at AlterNet.
Both Alternet and Raw Story are doing excellent work reflecting the importance of this issue.
In this post, as stated in the title, DFACS (in this case, Texas Child Protective Services) took a child away from her parents because the father admitted he smoked pot at night while she slept. The child was put in foster care for her "Safety".
This took place in Texas.
August 7, 2013 |
Two-year-old Alexandria Hill was placed in foster care after her parents were caught smoking marijuana in their home while she slept. Authorities charged them with "neglectful supervision," and just months away from getting their baby back, the loving parents learned they would never see their young child again. Placed in a foster home to protect her from them, Alexandria was brutally killed.
The foster parents were arrested for murder.
Alex's dad admitted to using marijuana -- a drug much safer than alcohol or cigarettes -- but said she was never mistreated. "We never hurt our daughter. She was never sick, she was never in the hospital, and she never had any issues until she went into state care," he told KVUE-TV.
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The tragedy raises questions about laws equating marijuana use with neglect, particularly when the punishment involves placing a child in a potentially abusive environment, away from loving parents. Incidents of abuse are higher than average in foster homes, and children often struggle to thrive away from their parents. Thus, the removal of children from their parents' home should be executed rarely and only in times of absolute necessity.
This is reefer madness in an ugly, ugly form.
It is nothing shot of sheer stupidity to assume that "marijuana smoking" is somehow indicative of child abuse, when alcoholic parents are a dime a dozen.
A new report  from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that almost 5 million alcohol-dependent or alcohol-abusing parents have at least one child living at home with them. These parents were more likely to smoke cigarettes, use illicit drugs and report household turbulence than other parents.
“Children living in homes with alcohol-dependent or abusing parents are at high risk of also becoming alcohol and drug abusers, with the potential of perpetuating the disease when they have their own children,” SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie said. “The good news is children of alcoholic parents can be helped to build on their strengths and develop resilience to overcome their difficulties. We must also reach out to the parents and offer them an opportunity for recovery by encouraging them to enter and remain in substance abuse treatment.”
As a professional psychotherapist I have seen countless children from alcoholic families, as well as "real drug abusing families" - do note my sarcasm here. These children are not always removed from homes and when they are, being in foster care is most often (in my experience) just as bad: either out of one mess into another, or out of the frying pan into the fire.
The US government's excessive preoccupation with marijuana led directly to the tragedy reported here.
Also the pervasive lack of both funding and professionalism with CPS/DFCS plays a HUGE role in this "out of the frying pan, into the fire' mechanism.
Video, if you just really want your soul crushed. Probably a trigger warning is indicated.
Young Turks weighed in as well, and provides additional details:
UPDATE That no-good Johnny Wurster posted a comment I am adding here as something of an action item for those interested:
I would strongly urge anyone looking into volunteering or that has an interest in helping kids to consider volunteering to be a special advocate for kids in the foster system:
In an ideal world, of course, we wouldn't need this service, but this world is very far from ideal and we very much do need it.