Parents Grow Pot, Kids In Good Health
Every now and then I’ll turn on the news and hear about the cops busting a locals grow-op (for example, families growing marijuana in their homes). What always strikes me is that the homes are often in well-to-do neighborhoods, replete with two-car garage and white picket fence. And there are often kids living in these homes, which is just sad.
But it turns out that a majority of these kids are not exposed to any type of alarming health risks. A new study found that children living in illegal grow-op homes fare quite well and, according to lead researcher Dr. Gideon Koren, they shouldn’t automatically be removed from their parents’ care after a bust.
“Basically these are middle-class people who make a lot of money. That is our explanation why the kids are doing well,” Koren, a senior scientist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children and director of its Motherisk program, told the Toronto Star. The study looked at 75 children who were removed from “drug-producing homes” in the city’s York Region between 2006 and 2010 and found that the majority were healthy and drug-free.
Normally children are removed from their parents’ custody after a drug bust and sometimes even placed into foster care. “They [children’s aid workers] did it because of the instinct, that it must not be good for them, but we disputed that instinct,” Koren tells The Star. He says that the majority of grow-op kids showed no exposure to drugs and that, overall, they’re actually healthier than average Canadian children.
Both Koren and Patrick Lake, executive director of the York Region Children’s Aid Society, said the study will provide guidance to children’s aids societies as they make custody decisions on a case-by-case basis. It shows there is no medical justification to automatically separate children in such cases from their parents, reports The Star.
Weeds‘ Nancy Botwin would have a field day with this one.
(Photo: Brand X Pictures)