Can Parents Lose Custody Over Legal Marijuana Use? Absolutely.

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Scientific research confirms that most people who smoke marijuana before they have kids still occasionally get high after they become parents, and anecdotal research confirms that THC can make pushing a stroller through the park chill as hell. It is also a relatively safe stimulant in that if parents don’t hide it effectively — it’s really not that hard, get a kid-proof containermarijuana poses no serious medical risk to children.

But for parents in the throesw of a divorce, moderate, responsible, and even legal pot use represents a very real hazard. Despite shifting cultural and legal norms, marijuana consumption can and does come up in custody negotiations.

“If it’s a really bitter divorce or separation, you may see one party that’s the non-marijuana user call Child Protective Services, or at the very least threaten to,” explains Nicholas Dowgul, a North Carolina-based divorce attorney.

There are two basic ways a parent can have their custodial rights compromised by marijuana use.

The first involves the intervention of Child Protective Services, which typically assesses a parent’s use after receiving a tip (one can guess where such tips come from).

The other, more common scenario is during a contentious divorce. Though this may vary slightly based on state laws, past cases suggest that marijuana can cause custody problems even when it’s legal.

In 2016, a California father who used medical marijuana prescribed by a doctor after a car accident petitioned for custody of his baby and was forced by CPS (acting on a tip) to take a drug test that he failed. Instead of going home with his dad, the child, who the mother could no longer care for, was put into foster care.
In another case, a grandmother in Maine who sought to obtain custody of her grandchildren was denied because she was using medical marijuana for back pain.

Those children have been in state custody for a year.

Still, there’s a limited amount of case law marijuana and custody issues, making outcomes hard to predict. In states where marijuana is illegal, if a complaint is lodged by the other parent as part of a custody dispute, that parent would not have to prove the drug endangered a child. In states where weed is legal, they presumably would have to prove harm or risk (driving under the influence, leaving marijuana where kids can access it, or abusing it to the point of mental instability).

Still, it’s hard to know exactly what that means in practice other than that it’s likely a smoker with a contentious relationship with a former partner would be subjected to a drug test.

Ultimately, Dowgul explains, it comes down to a judge’s discretion.

In states where weed is legal, they presumably would have to prove harm or risk (driving under the influence, leaving marijuana where kids can access it, or abusing it to the point of mental instability).

Still, it’s hard to know exactly what that means in practice other than that it’s likely a smoker with a contentious relationship with a former partner would be subjected to a drug test.

Ultimately, Dowgul explains, it comes down to a judge’s discretion.

Creating a Generation of Addicts

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Generation of Addicts With ADHD Medication?

How safe is it for our kids to be taking narcotic medications every day?

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Jack

During his freshman year, Jack’s grades started slipping. He found it hard to keep up. He knew several classmates who used uppers for extra boosts when they needed them. In hopes of finding an endless supply of energy (and improving his grades), Jack decided to fake the symptoms of ADHD so he could get an Adderall prescription.

It worked.

Since the symptom criteria is fairly ambiguous – and has become even less strict in recent years – this wasn’t difficult to do. His shrink wrote the script…and Jack started a pattern of drug abuse that shaped the rest of his life.

  • ADHD is easy to fake. A 2010 study revealed that one in four diagnoses of adult ADHD involved faked symptoms – and this wasbefore the diagnostic criteria were relaxed.

Women pouring medicine into hand.

Wyatt

Wyatt was one of the youngest kindergarteners in his class.

He was struggling with reading and was often distracted by the many other fun opportunities around the room. His teacher spoke with his parents, who consulted with a psychiatrist, who, in turn, diagnosed Wyatt with ADHD. Within a month, he was taking highly potent drugs to control his symptoms.

Wyatt’s grandmother pointed out that he was barely five years old and that being curious, active and distractible used to be considered normal – even healthy – for that age. Wyatt’s parents dismissed her input, assuming the doctor knew best – the same doctor whose practice is closely tied with the pharmaceutical company.

  • Research shows children in kindergarten are much more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than their older classmates. This strengthens the argument that ADHD diagnoses are often based on non-pathological, normal human imperfections. Being forgetful or distracted happens to everyone, especially when you’re barely past the diaper stage.

Aiden

Aiden’s parents were frazzled. At nine, Aiden behaved more like a three-year-old. He was often hyper, seemed to get into everything and never wanted to sit still. They got tired of finding things to entertain him and were weary of fighting with him to pay attention. They knew many children today receive medication to help with these issues, so they took Aiden to a doctor.

After a ten-minute discussion with his parents – and an even briefer exam of the child – Aiden’s doctor diagnosed him with ADHD and sent his parents home with a prescription for Ritalin.

Now Aiden is docile, quiet and compliant. He doesn’t eat much on the days he takes his medication, and he has a lot less personality now, but his parents don’t have to work as hard to manage him.

  • In some areas of the U.S., roughly half of boys in grades three to five are on ADHD medication. Several experts in child care and addiction point out that pharmaceutical companies take advantage of desperate parents who are simply looking for ways to help their children. And though the same group of experts admits many of these children have legitimate problems, in their collective   opinion,those issues rarely warrant drugs like Ritalin, Adderall and Vyvanse.

Over-Diagnosed and Over-Medicated

In 2011, the CDC reported 11 percent of our nation’s children were diagnosed with ADHD; two-thirds of those kids were prescribed medication.

Alan Schwarz, author of ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic,reports the numbers are now up to one in seven American children diagnosed with ADHD.

Dr. C. Keith Conners, “father of ADHD” and the man who discovered Ritalin’s effect on children, believes that only two to three percent of these kids actually qualify for a diagnosis.So many young lives are being shaped by powerful drugs that many experts say are unnecessary. These potent pharmaceuticals – Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse – all have the potential for addiction and abuse.

We are putting highly potent prescription narcotics in the hands and minds of thousands of young children. Can we expect anything but disaster?

Risks vs Results

With the trending increase in prescriptions, emergency room visits due to ADHD medications have soared 400 percent in the past seven years. A study of FDA data discovered 19,000 complications directly related to ADHD medications. And while we’re mostly still in the dark regarding long-term effects, the FDA data does currently list two long-term concerns: fatal heart attacks and kidney failure.

Is the next generation becoming dependent on medications they don’t need? Possibly. Will they all become addicts? Probably not. But when children grow up taking narcotics every day, they easily become desensitized to the dangers of drug use. When half the kids in their class are on some form of stimulant already, what’s the big deal if they try some other meds too? And if it’s okay to take narcotics to help them focus, why not try something else to make them feel happy, or relaxed or outgoing?

Simply put; when drugs are the first solution society turns to for managing children’s behavior, can we expect anything less from the children? When the doctor’s knee-jerk reaction is to medicate, children get the impression that self-medication is no big deal.

Additional Reading:Study: Abuse of ADHD Meds is Beginning Earlier

Substance Abuse Stats

This is why Trump’s recommendation to replace SNAP FOOD STAMPS with food boxes is a bad idea… and its not really about the food or the money.

And when it was my turn, there was nobody left to speak up for me…

I know this isn’t normally in line with my blog topic of Foster Care but it does relate to the interest of families all across our country.

So, please take a moment and help me get this message out.

I am going to tell you why i believe President Trumps’ idea to replace SNAP food stamps with boxes of food is a REALLY BAD IDEA.

But before i do, i have drafted a petition to President Trump on this issue that i am asking you to sign. I need 100,000 signatures in 30 days for it to reach the white house.

So even if you do not agree with me to sign the petition, please at least share my post, or the link to the petition, so it gets passed around. someone else might feel as strongly as I do on the topic and might want to include their signature. Thank you.

I’ve created this petition asking President Trump not to replace food stamps with boxes of food.

I must reach a goal of 100,000 signatures so that my petition makes it to the white house.

Even if you don’t agree with the current program of SNAP FOOD BENEFITS, that’s okay. This is about much more than that. If you value your FREEDOMS AS AMERICAN CITIZENS, please take a moment.

SNAP food stamps are NOT just for people who do not work. In fact, most employees of Walmart are on food stamps…(and incidentally spend them at Walmart…hrmmm).

For many families it is the difference between going HUNGRY OR having the ability to cook a real, heathy meal with meat and vegetables.

I’M NOT DEBATING WHETHER OR NOT SNAP IS necessary, or for who, or how much or for how long.

I do not even receive SNAP benefits, by the way .

I want to discuss the IMPLICATIONS of what The POTUS has proposed.

Trump wants to replace food stamps with boxes of government food.

THINK ABOUT THAT.

The government issued boxes of food Trump Is proposing for the future….

the bread lines of the past.

Once a month, poor families well be given their share of whatever food the GOVERNMENT THINKS they should get to eat.

Bread lines.

Is this how things should be done in a “free” country? or is this ONE STEP CLOSER to repeating history?

This is AMERICA, LAND OF THE FREE, which includes the freedom to choose what we eat, when we eat, and how much.

AMERICA is NOT A COMMUNIST COUNTRY … government issued food boxes is one more freedom removed targeting the poor.

THAT’S A BIG DEAL.

There are too many ways the government can save money and make reforms to programs including SNAP food benefits

Please sign and pass along my petition at this site.

I need 100,000 signatures.

Thank you.

THOSE WHO DO NOT REMEMBER HISTORY ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT.

HITLER WAS ELECTED. REMEMBER?


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Special thanks to Former Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn

click here to read the Texas Medicaid Fraud News Reports and Investigation Findings on Its Almost Tuesday’s Medicaid Fraud Page.

In working with abuse cases, government systems, and foster care, there are many obstacles & tragedies on a daily basis.

We fight a system enormously large by comparison (to a single mom on aol) who has the money, resources, and capabilities to win, much moreso than the mom on aol. In the nastiness of red tape, lies, cover-ups, confidentiality excuses, conspiracies, money driven mistakes that cost lives & much more insanity than one would ever expect out of our own government systems

( particularly one in place to “protect children”.)

We see very few rewards.

Many advocates burn out.

By August of 2004 they finally, after much pressure, told me 3 of the medications they put him on. I had requested, demanded, and begged to know what they were giving my son who was coming to visitations acting different.

One visit he would be hyper and non-stop talking – rambling, so fast his mind would be thinking ten thoughts ahead, and he’d get stuck in a stutter from not being able to keep up. The next visit he’d be so groggy and sleepy, despondent, falling asleep mid-sentence, and unable to communicate or think clearly.

I knew it was drugs he was receiving by the foster care system he was thrown into… but which ones? and why? He’d never been on medications prior to foster care (and hasn’t since – to my knowledge).

I began writing letters. I wrote letters to everyone.

I wrote to the news station, the inspector general’s office, the local media, the CCHR, the medical board, the courts, etc., etc.,

Anyone and everyone received a letter from me. I wrote, last time I recall, approximately 1500 letters in the first couple months, begging for help with my fight for my son. But I kept getting no response. I kept seeing this happening to my child, and other children, and my pleas for help falling on deaf ears.

Except for Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn. She listened. I just didn’t know it … yet. I had written her, among the masses, and she actually wrote me back, herself. I was so proud of that letter, and valued it as it was the only effort I saw return to me. As time went by, and I saw little results of my efforts, my hope dwindled, and my case closing and not in my favor.

I had put up a webpage in November/December accusing the Texas county & cps of medicaid fraud and overdrugging our children; and by the end of my case, my son’s name was changed, I was placed under a gag order (now lifted) and I haven’t seen him nor talked to him in over 3 years.

Needless to say I fell … headfirst… into a deep despair & desperation. I had to figure out life without my son, and I’ve never succeeded in that. I doubt I will. The pain is as fresh when I let it come out to the surface as it was then, only difference is I’ve learned how to numb my emotions by separating my memories from myself, and it doesn’t really work, only helps.

Then I look at a page and I read one more article I run across about the work the Comptroller’s done in Forgotten Children, from April 2004, the time my son was taken from me. Although I run this blog and a few others, I do not dive headfirst into the work as I did before – I burnt out. Sometimes I read another CPS case, and I get sick, literally, and throw up.

The trauma its cause my family, my daughter and our relationship, and my entire life and that of my children’s’ is unimaginable. IT cannot ever be repaired; ever. So when I read the Medicaid Fraud investigation concerning psychotropic medications given needlessly to foster children for profit, launched December 16th, 2004 – it hits me hard – considering it was that time when I was writing to Carole Strayhorn begging for help.

Carole Keeton Strayhorn helped.

Foster Children: Texas Health Care Claims Study — Special Report is available as a PDF file (3.8 MB). If you do not already have it, you will need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print the PDF file.

Carole Keeton Strayhorn listened.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart Grandma Strayhorn!!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You made me realise that everything does, in fact, happen for a reason, and that our pain may not have been in vain…. for the 2008 implementation of the changes in the system for providing health care to foster children is proof that something changed. Something.

I just pray we made a difference for the children.

I fought and fought & because I had gone into despair so tragically after losing a losing battle, I left the state of Texas for a long while, and never turned on ews, internet re: cps, or anything related. It was far too painful. Now, nearly 4 years since this nightmare I lived through was written by my fingers on this very same keyboard I type on today, my letters reached – and were read…. and I am reaping the feelings of that one little reward in my work, and it is good. It is real good. So good I cried and laughed at the same time.

I only pray we made a difference and continue to make a difference for the forgotten children I’ll always remember – because one of them was mine.

Again, thank you, to everyone who read. We needed you & you listened.


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