As New York considers legalizing marijuana, attention is also turning to how the drug plays a role in the city’s child welfare system—one that has the power to remove children from their parents and that investigates, almost exclusively, low-income families of color. Parents and advocates have reported that recreational marijuana use can lead to investigations of child maltreatment by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services. Many times these investigations stem from testing pregnant women and their newborns at the city’s public hospitals, according to testimony at a City Council hearing on Wednesday. Queens Councilwoman Adrienne Adams called the practice “the systemic criminalization of women of color,” which comes with the threat of separating children and parents. “We are absolutely tearing families apart, needlessly,” Adams said.

Read full story...