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A lawsuit is the least that needs to happen

I’ve heard about this a couple of places now, but Jacob Sullum does a great job of expressing it:

The ACLU of Pennsylvania recently filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of a couple whose newborn baby was kidnapped by Lawrence County Children and Youth Services (LCCYS) because her mother recklessly consumed an “everything” bagel from Dunkin’ Donuts the day before the birth.

This is just another one of those outrages of the drug war. Children are often taken away from their parents just because of the presence of drugs without even the bother of demonstrating harm. And here, a false positive drug test (the test itself was, I believe, unconstitutional) based only on poppy seeds, and they take a newborn from her mother!

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14 comments to A lawsuit is the least that needs to happen

  • OMG

    Are doctors required by state or federal law to conduct drug tests on pregnant women who are not on probation for drug violations?

  • OMG

    You would think doctor/patient confidentiality would prevent disclosure of such information. For example, violating attorney-client privilege could have an attorney disbarred, no matter if the accused is a child molester, Charles Manson, or John Wayne Gacy? Well, we are talking about pregnant women who could think twice about getting needed hospital assistance if they are intimidated by the drug tests; therefore, this hospital/county practice definitely poses a grave risk to both the unborn child as well as the mother. Mothers and unborn children could die due to child birth complications without adequate hospital assistance. Mothers could miscarry from the stress of possibly have their born children taken away for a failed drug test.

    This is an issue that we should also get conservative pro-life groups to rally around.

  • Bryan S.

    Cue: The Return of the Midwives!
    No really, that’s what some have said this will lead to… which is (arguably) more or less safe depending on who you talk to, and assuming expecting mothers go in for prenatal exams & there aren’t any indications/symptoms that point to complications during labor – it should be equally safe, if not safer.
    And that way calling for an EMT/ambulance & going to the ER if need be – is still an option…

  • Windy

    Unfortunately, doctors and hospitals are REQUIRED by (unconstitutional) law, to report drug use, which IMO is a clear violation of the confidentiality patients expect. Found the info here:
    http://forums.randi.org/archive/index.php/t-101121.html
    Fnord13th December 2007, 11:49 AM
    After a little digging, I found that depending on the state, a physician in America is already required to report to the appropriate authority:

    – All pesticide-related illnesses or injuries.

    – Any participant in a legal match involving kickboxing, boxing, or mixed martial arts, who is determined to be unfit to proceed.

    – Any person whom the physician believes to have been injured in a match involving kickboxing, boxing, or mixed martial arts, whether the match was legal or otherwise.

    – Any abortion (some states require only those abortions performed on a minor).

    – Any accepted patient referral.

    – Any adverse incident in any office maintained by a physician.

    – Any adverse reaction to a vaccine.

    – Any case of communicable and occupational disease such as tuberculosis, Reye’s syndrome, and cancer (mesothelioma, etc.).

    – Any confirmed, positive test results for a controlled substance.

    – Any death and its circumstances, including death as a result of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

    – Any failure of a hospital to keep required records of hospital transfers.

    – Any injury from discharge of gun or other violent act.

    – Any patient whose driving may be impaired for mental or physical reasons.

    – Any person who has a moderate-to-severe brain or spinal cord injury.

    – Any person with a sexually transmissible disease, including HIV or AIDS.

    – Any prescription for lethal or potentially lethal medication.

    – Any rape or sexual assault.

    – Any second- or third-degree burn affecting over 5% of the body.

    – Any suspected non-accidental injuries, malnourishment, physical neglect, sexual abuse, or other deprivation with intent to cause or allow injury or death of minor child or unborn child.

    – Any victim of a motor vehicle accident whose blood alcohol exceeds legal limits.

    – Any vulnerable adult who has been abused, neglected, or exploited

    – Any work-related injury.

    – The history, condition, treatment, dates and costs of treatment for any person making a claim for personal injury protection insurance benefits.

  • DdC

    It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world…

    State and Federal Marijuana Laws Collide
    People who use marijuana for medicinal purposes in states where it is legal are being penalized by the federal government because pot is still illegal under U.S. law.

    n Las Vegas, N.M., cancer patient Robert Jones, 70, says he has been notified that his federal rent subsidy is being revoked because he is a medical-marijuana user.

    Marijuana dispensary operator Steve DeAngelo of Harborside Health Center in Oakland says his federally insured bank dumped his account because he deals in an illegal drug.

    Problems occur at airport security checkpoints in medical marijuana states. Baggage screeners, who work for the federal Transportation Security Administration, turn medical marijuana users over to local police for prosecution, according to Ed Skvarna, chief of the Burbank airport police.

    CPA and Foster Care Racketeers profit on the Ganjawar the same as Rehab/Pisstaste racketeers and the Prison/Poison Police racketeers. Selling out Americans.

    Meet Loretta Nall
    Judge Kim Taylor of the Tallapoosa County District Court received a request from the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department to issue a search warrant for Loretta’s property on the basis of an alleged anonymous phone-in tip that she was growing marijuana inside her house. The search warrant was issued, and less than three hours later, it was executed…

    … So what did the police get for all their efforts? One marijuana stem, three seeds, which they claim to have found in an envelope on Loretta’s printer, and a package of cigarette papers. Not content with harassing Loretta by ransacking her house, the police called in the Alabama Department of Human Resources, whose agents declared Loretta’s home unfit for her children. They informed her that if she did not have a place to send the children to stay, then the state would take them away.

    Think of the message being sent to the kids?

    Human Rights Watch has documented abominable conditions for children in detention in countries around the world. In the United States (Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, and Maryland), Pakistan, Jamaica, among other countries, children are subjected to excessive force, inadequate medical and mental health care, and are provided with little or no education. Often, these children are placed in the facilities along side adults, exposing them to physical and sexual abuse.”

    Cruelty and Death in Juvenile Detention Centers

    The War on Drugs’ War on Minorities
    A 1990 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that African-American mothers who tested positive for illicit drugs were ten times more likely to be reported to child protective services than white and Hispanic counterparts.

    Columbian schoolchildren sprayed from above

    Yellowknife Couple Lose Children Over Medical Marijuana Garden In Closet

    Anti-Drug Campaigns Dumb Down Vital Message
    Calvina Fay and child torturer Mel Sembler (founder of Straight, Inc. became Calvina Fay’s Drug Free America)
    The Seed was a teen drug rehabilitation chain in Florida in the 1970s. The US Senate accused the program of using North Korean brainwashing methods on American kids. Sembler patterned Straight, Inc. after The Seed.

    The (F)Utility of DAWN
    Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN)

    … the number of marijuana related emergencies.

    This is an untruth propagated by the drug czar’s minions. The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) collects its data on ‘marijuana related emergencies’ by noting every single time someone tells their doctor that they use marijuana. So if I were to accidentally break my leg and go to the ER, and my doctor asked if I use any drugs and I say I occasionally smoke marijuana (as I should, as we should all be honest with our physicians), then this would be a ‘marijuana related emergency,’ even if I hadn’t smoked in weeks.

    “Jailing Kids for Cash”
    As many as 5,000 children in Pennsylvania have been found guilty, and up to 2,000 of them jailed, by two corrupt judges who received kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities that benefited.

    DARE Scare: Turning Children Into Informants? By James Bovard WP 1/29/94

    “A child miseducated is a child lost.”
    – John F. Kennedy

  • Ben

    This shit makes me absolutely furious. The government does not care about the welfare of its citizens. Enough is enough.

  • Maria

    Re: midwives and slightly off topic
    The Business of Being Born is a really good film about the state of Obstetrics versus the state of modern midwifery and the possibilities of integrating the two spheres into a cohesive whole. It’s a documentary that features Ricki Lake, of all people, and a friend who wanted to understand the birthing options available for her own pregnancy.

    The movie explores those options, one being essentially surgical, that birth is an emergency medical condition which must be fixed and the other holistic, that birth is a natural process which can be supplanted with and aided by advanced medical techniques.

    It’s actually quite a fascinating and honest film which for me mirrored a number of other civil rights issues out there. While it’s very pro midwives it ends up showing that the surgical solution is required in difficult cases and should be available when needed, the friend ends up having a very difficult birth. If both these groups worked together we might have a lower infant death rate, lower cost to parents, and a healthier and saner situation overall. But then again, sanity is not a priority when the bottom line, and control are at stake.

    Pisses me off. The US rate is well above most other “developed” countries and rising, so further scaring more women into staying away from doctors and prenatal monitoring is downright immoral.

  • kaptinemo

    Yes, a lawsuit is needed, but not just for the immediate reason of the moment. It’s needed to drag the whole sordid mess of drug prohibition, itself, into a venue where lies can be punished legally. After all, that’s the source of the madness. Cutting off the branch of the poison tree while leaving the root intact does no one any good.

    For example, put the chief Federal DrugWarriors on the stand, under oath, and demand that they explain the origin of the rationale for claiming that cannabis is ‘dangerous’. They’d immediately have to plead the Fifth or face an eviscerating cross-examination that would lay bare those racially bigoted origins…preferably to a jury that mirrors the racial composition of society.

    Damn, some days, I wished I’d studied law instead of studying how to commit state-sanctioned murder and mayhem for Uncle Sugar (courtesy of the US Army). I’d love to meet these DrugWarriors on a level playing field…

  • darkcycle

    Disgusting. Reminds me of the hysteria of the Witch Trials. During the witch hysteria, simply having a healthy cow when your neighbor’s was sick could get you burned.

  • Servetus

    Speaking of witches and warlocky, the Minnesota Teen Challenge cures drug addicts by casting out their demons. Read how Brandon Barthrop ‘lived in a continual LCD trip…’ [sic] and was cured by exorcism.

    BTW, the magnanimous federal government funds the Minnesota Teen Challenge malarkey to the tune of $10-million per year.

  • the drug czar is working to ensure that every encounter that anyone has with a medical professional involves a drug test.

    that’s one down side to demanding that they focus more of their spending on “prevention and treatment”

    be careful what you ask for.

  • JRH

    When the hell will someone with A set going to step up and challenge the govt on these obvious unconstitional sactions of denighing educational benifits, public housing, foodstamps , ect as cruel and unusal punishiment setforth in the constition.

  • DdC

    DEAth Merchant’s Maintaining Dysfunction for Profit

    If it makes sense, outlaw it. 404 gag rules prevent using a medicinal defense as it might confuse the jury. Same results William Bennett, Education Secretary/Drug Czar got removing the word “hemp” from schoolbooks as it might confuse the kids. When he wasn’t losing $8 million in slot machines. Hemp is illegal to grow, but not to buy foreign products, including hemp seed and oil. Yet Ganja products are illegal as well as growing. Both are schedule#1 narcotics as well as RxGanja. Except the medicinal schwag bud, plus (crushed, sticks, seed and leaves, 3 things you shouldn’t smoke.) the Federal DEA grows, rolls and ships to the remaining IND patients. Everyone else is verboten. State initiatives not enforced by Dan Lungren, killing Peter McWilliams, and he remains a tax paid politician, no jail time. Same as chewybaca LAPDog DAREylgate loudmouth bragging about not enforcing P-19 same as the pink wingnut sheriff in AZ. Still no confirmation or documentation I’ve seen that would scientifically define Ganja or especially Hemp as a schedule#1 narcotic. Nixon just balled up his own Commission’s report and tossed it in the trash after they recommended it be decriminalized. NIDA has been trying to find something but after 50,000 test still have no evidence. Yet this lie remains unchallenged and trickles down to real hard times for the common folks. Why pretend there is a Justice System and waste all that money farming lawyers if none of it means diddlysquat. Ganja is or it isn’t. Thousands of years of safe use and private funded testing with no debate mustered by the tax paid DEAth. After there own judge Young evaluation to remove it the Czar just said no and that’s that. Not even a cabinet position yet thats that? Do what they say not what they do. After some decent kyndbud they start sounding like cartoon characters. 20 million American tokers can’t be wrong. So yo ho nor, I rest my case, the Ganjawar is a scam and the perpetrators are committing treason. But so are their Insurance and Banksters and War Profiteers. Just about most of the media and now the schools are getting corporate curriculums to dispel all those hippie notions of pollution being harmful.

    Hemp soap lands Germs drummer Don Bolles behind bars

    High on Hemp: Ditchweed Digs In

    “Hemp is marijuana”
    “The shampoo is a subterfuge to promote marijuana.”
    Glenn Levant,
    president and founder of Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE)

    Anti-hemp brainwashing by DARE works better on parents and school bureaucrats than on kids.

    Hemp products are not illegal.
    $100 million to $125 million in retail sales a year.

    Never has there been a federal statute outlawing the cultivation of hemp, just the DEA’s insistence that hemp is an illegal drug. Law enforcement officials in other countries harbor no such fantasies. Hemp is lawfully grown in 32 nations, and in the European Union it’s a subsidized crop.

    Emerging from the hoopla was the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which made no chemical distinction between hemp and marijuana. It was all ‘cannabis,’ but the smokeable parts-the leaves and flowers-were taxed at $100 an ounce, effectively outlawing them… … Only five years later hemp farmers got a reprieve… Hemp for Victory,

    More recently, the problem has been a succession of rigid, frontal-assault ‘drug czars.’

    The drug czar and the DEA claim that pot producers will use hemp fields to hide their illicit crops.
    If they do, their marijuana will be ruined:

    DEA’s own figures reveal that 98 percent of the ‘marijuana’ eradicated is hemp.

    ‘Ditchweed,’ it’s called. That’s the ‘marijuana’ you see getting burned in all the photos. If you’re caught with ditchweed, you’re in big trouble, as Vernon McElroy discovered in 1991 when he got convicted for possessing 10.9 pounds that he says a friend picked and gave him as a joke. Now he’s doing life without parole at the overcrowded maximum-security penitentiary in Springville, Alabama. In Oklahoma, ditchweed is sprayed with herbicides from helicopters. And in 1998 Congress authorized $23 million for research into a soilborne fungus that attacks and kills marijuana