Pubdate: Sat, 30 Jul 2011
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2011 Canwest Publishing Inc.


With questionable reasoning, a study by Motherisk, a respected 
research unit at Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital, suggests that children 
in marijuana grow ops should not be automatically removed from their 
homes because they face no adverse health risks. While there may be 
no medical justification to automatically separate them from their 
parents, it would be folly for child welfare agencies to not intervene.

It is certainly true, as the head of Motherisk notes, that taking a 
child away from a welladapted family environment causes "fear, 
anxiety, confusion and sadness." Yet health concerns are hardly the 
sole risk associated with large-scale grow ops. In grow op raids, 
police often recover guns and large amounts of cash. Those who run 
factory grow ops typically move frequently. This is no way to raise a child.

Motherisk does not suggest that children should never be 
removedfromparentsinvolved in drug production and trafficking, but 
says all factors must be weighed. In Alberta, the Drug Endangered 
Children Act enables authorities to automatically seize children for 
up to two days. Similar legislation is being considered in Ontario.

With the exception of small amounts grown for medical or personal 
use, a two-day removal is not draconian. It gives authorities a 
chance to assess the situation and may serve as a wake-up call to 
parents to examine whether their lifestyle is in the best long-term 
interests of their children.
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