Mother Loses Child Custody When Marijuana Is Found in Apartment
Even though possession of under 10 grams isn’t even a misdemeanor, Penelope Harris had her 10-year-old son taken away from her when under 10 grams of cannabis was discovered in her apartment. Harris was living in Bronx, NY with her son and her niece who was placed used her guardianship and even though prosecutors did not file charges, report of her arrest had been made to New York’s welfare hot line prompting city caseworkers to remove the children from her case. Even though the children were returned after being in the city’s care for only a week, it is a fact that people lose their children for simple marijuana possession every year.
Penelope Harris isn’t the only NY parent dealing with Jose Gunnell from Harlem lost complete custody of his year-old daughter back in March when a $5 bag of bud was found in his room during a room inspection at a homeless shelter. Gunnell claimed to have stopped smoking back in 2010 and only lit up after having an infected tooth pulled. That bad was deemed important enough for Gunnell to have his daughter removed.
In cases of neglect where drugs are a factor, “repeated misuse” normally results in the youth being put into custody of the state but that line is skewed because the law doesn’t differentiate between cannabis and drugs like heroin.
[via NY Times]
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