Pubdate: Thu, 11 Nov 1999
Source: Houston Press (TX)
Copyright: 1999 New Times, Inc.
Authors: Lenicia Gordon, Keith Sanders


I was dumbfounded after reading the story by Melissa Hung about the couple
whose children were taken away because tests showed she and her baby had
some small amount of marijuana in their systems ["Reefer Madness?" November
4]. It is hard to believe ridiculous things like this still happen to
people in this day and age.  While I myself do not smoke pot, I have had
two children, and near the end of my pregnancies I did joyfully have an
occasional glass of wine or cocktail to help me relax.  I did enough
research on drinking in moderation while pregnant that I felt completely
comfortable doing so, and both of my children are beautiful, healthy and
have no disabilities.

While I understand that marijuana is illegal, I know (as well as most
intelligent, informed and contemporary humans do) that it has not been
proven to be any more harmful to us than alcohol, and most agree that it is
less harmful.

I feel sick for those two parents and for their precious children, whom
they obviously love very much.  To deprive that baby and his mother of such
important bonding time is criminal and wrong and is completely lacking in
both good judgement and justice.  I just hope the people who made that
decision can live with themselves, especially when they look into the eyes
of their own children who need them so much. 

Lenicia Gordon, Houston

It must be comforting to Angela Jenkins, and to her children, to know that
the state is so concerned with their welfare -- not counting the four times
she was turned down for Medicaid assistance.  Fortunately Children's
Protective Services cared enough to "help" Jenkins's children by snatching
them away from their mother, simply because she took a politically
unfashionable medication for her labor pains.

Apparently CPS thinks that the bond between a mother and child in the first
weeks and months of life is less important than teaching Jenkins a firm
moral lesson: Namely, that it is the government's job, not yours, to decide
what you may and may not do to your own body. 

Keith Sanders, El Cerrito, California

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