Sheriff Gene Mitchell said a Huntsville teenager, who gave birth to a child in a bathtub at a Lawrence County residence, has been arrested after the child tested positive for marijuana.
Mitchell said Kimberleigh Ann Duffey, 19, 6313 Marsh Ave., Huntsville, has been arrested for chemical endangerment of a child.
“We were notified by the Lawrence County Department of Human Resources after the positive test,” Mitchell said.
He said the child was born at a residence in Lawrence County near the Trinity community in December. The sheriff said DHR has take custody of the child.
“It’s a reckless and selfish act for a mother to use drugs while pregnant,” Mitchell said.
Duffey is being held in the Lawrence County Jail on bail of $15,000.
OK, so we separate a newborn infant from her young mother for “chemical endangerment” from a chemical that is non-toxic and not proven to cause serious harm to the infant. Cannabis has been used since the dawn of time by expectant mothers for relief from the nausea of morning sickness and treating general pain and is safer than anything else she could take for the same symptoms. And why do you suppose the woman was giving birth at home in a bathtub instead of a hospital; could it be that she feared hospital staff would detect the marijuana and take her child?
This is one of the most popular subjects I’ve reported on the Stash (see: http://stash.norml.org/mom-booked-baby-born-with-marijuana-in-system/, up to 47 comments already) with dozens of mothers in fear of losing their babies because they smoke a little weed. According to “The Physician’s Guide to Laboratory Test Selection and Screening”:
Meconium (the dark, tarry material passed from the neonate’s rectum in the first days after birth until milk or formula-based stool appears) is the specimen of choice for assessing in utero exposure of the neonate to maternal drug abuse
- Meconium is preferred over urine for testing
- Meconium documents multiple use over an extended period of time, covering the last 4-5 months of pregnancy
- Urine testing can only indicate drug use over the last 1-10 days, depending on the drug
- Negative effect on attentional behavior and on visual analysis/hypothesis testing
- No effect on global IQ
Now compare that to the effects it lists for cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and benzodiazepenes, which include “intracerebral hemorrhage, small neonatal head size, reduced birth weight, fetal death, ADHD, tremors, and seizures” for the infant and “complications during pregnancy, premature labor, and ruptured uterus”.
Is society or that infant better off being put in foster care and having the young mother go through life branded as a “drug criminal” and “child abuser”?