How Marijuana Legalization Leaves Mothers and Pregnant Women Behind
It is no secret that marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington ushered in internationally unprecedented progressive drug policy in the United States. What is lesser understood, however, is that these new “experimental” reforms do not necessarily peel back all of the many, punitive layers of drug war enforcement.
Despite the prevailing notion that the consequences of marijuana prohibition are determined in criminal courts for crimes like possession and sale, some of the harshest punishments are steeped in ever-complicated family law and Child Protective Services (CPS).
Well-intentioned marijuana policy reform thus often leaves women, who are more likely to be their children’s primary caretakers, behind. The effects of enforcing anti-drug family law go so far, in fact, as to punish women for child abuse and neglect crimes ostensibly committed on their fetuses—even in states where marijuana is explicitly legal for all adults 21 and older. Read more
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