Bill Would Make Marijuana Offenses ‘Child Abuse’

Toronto Police Supt. Ron Taverner (left), Tory MPP Garfield Dunlop and Orangeville Police Chief Joe Tomei (right) announce their support for Tory MPP Garfield Dunlop's private members bill that would consider kids growing up in marijuana grow-ops victims of child abuse. (ANTONELLA ARTUSO/Toronto Sun)Toronto Police Supt. Ron Taverner (left), Tory MPP Garfield Dunlop and Orangeville Police Chief Joe Tomei (right) announce their support for Tory MPP Garfield Dunlop’s private members bill that would consider kids growing up in marijuana grow-ops victims of child abuse. (ANTONELLA ARTUSO/Toronto Sun)Exposing a youngster to illegal drug production such as a marijuana grow-op would be considered child abuse under an Ontario private member’s bill to be introduced next week.

Conservative MPP Garfield Dunlop, with the support of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) is proposing to amend the existing child protection law to add “drug endangered children” as a category in need of protection.

Toronto Police Service Superintendent Ron Taverner, chair of OACP’s Substance Abuse Committee, said Wednesday that the legislation would give police officers and child protection workers an additional legal tool to respond to the presence of children in grow-ops, meth labs and other places where illegal drugs are manufactured and trafficked.

“These children are drug endangered because they are exposed to toxic fumes which could lead to chronic respiratory disorder, neurological damage and even cancer,” Taverner said. “They’re exposed to the potential fire hazards… Some are exposed to violent crime and even organized crime.”

York Regional Police Service Supt. Wayne Kalinski said children found in these situations are currently removed but may go back to the same family later without any legal repercussions for the people who put them in danger’s way.

Dunlop said he’ll introduce his private member’s bill Monday.

– Article from Toronto Sun.


Target druggies who involve their kids: Bill

by Antonella Artuso, Toronto Sun

Parents and caregivers who expose kids to drug manufacturing and trafficking should be treated as child abusers, proposed legislation says.

Tory MPP Garfield Dunlop will introduce a private member’s bill Monday that would amend the Child and Family Services Act to add “drug endangered” as a category of children in need of protection.

“If we truly care about our children, we should do everything possible to prevent their exposure to the many dangers and health risk associated with making illegal drugs,” Dunlop said. “They also deserve better than growing up in a grow op or having their meals cooked in a crystal meth kitchen.”

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police passed a motion last year to seek this additional legal tool to respond to situations where children are found living in marijuana grow operations, clandestine labs and other illegal drug dens.

Over the past five years, York Regional Police officers have been involved in 113 incidents where they’ve had to rescue children from homes where drugs were being manufactured or trafficked, Supt. Wayne Kalinski said.

“At the present time, the child may be removed from the home but when the situation improves they’re returned,” Kalinski said. “And there’s no penalty or there’s no reason for the parents not to do it again because they’re not held accountable.”

Police say Dunlop’s bill would give them an extra legal tool to hold the parents accountable.

Toronto Police Services Superintendent Ron Taverner, chair of OACP’s Substance Abuse Committee, said some children are being denied the right to a safe and normal childhood.

“These children are drug endangered because they are exposed to toxic fumes which could lead to chronic respiratory disorder, neurological damage and even cancer. They’re exposed to the potential of fire hazards — the likelihood of a fire in a grow up dwelling may be as much as 40 times greater … Some are exposed to violent crime and even organized crime,” Taverner said.

In some cases, families acting as “crop sitters” in grow ops use children as a screen to disguise the true use of the home, he said.

“Right now, the act of drug endangering a child is not classified as a form of child abuse,” he said.

Paris Meilleur, a spokesperson for Children and Youth Services Minister Laurel Broten, said the current CFSA legislation is broad-based and permits a child protection worker to take appropriate action if a child is found in the care of someone involved in drugs.

“That could certainly be reason for removal of that kid from that family,” she said.

However, the ministry is always willing to listen to advice from workers at the ground level and looks forward to the bill’s debate, she said.

– Article from Toronto Sun.

Comments

27 Comments

  1. Mark Carlton on

    I don’t have any kids and I am 22 years. I have two nephews, one who is 5 and one who is turning 3 soon.

    While cannabis certainly should not be compared to alcohol, caffeine is far too subtle to compare with either. We are talking about progression of life here. You can drink coffee or pop every single day and lead a productive significant life. In fact it will likely only help you do so. It is extremely, extremely rare to find someone who’s motivation and drive in life has been hampered by caffeine intake. Now to be fair, many people can do this on pot. Smoke a joint in the morning, and lead their day normally. Yet many people cannot, do not, and end up sitting around, not going to school, not getting a job, and not moving on. So no, the two are not comparable.

    My main concern comes from the mental affects of pot on youngsters. You can give a 13 year old a couple alcoholic drinks and he won’t want more the next day. He won’t feel like drinking instead of going to school. There is a very low chance of that occupying. Give that same kid a joint that night and there is a much higher chance that at some point down the recent road, he’ll ditch school and responsibilities given the opportunity to go toke and play video games with his buddies.

    Now being only 4 years removed from high school I am certainly confirm this for you. I was the kind of pothead who would go to school 1 day a week just for the tests, quizzes, and to collect homework. I actually did pretty well like this, but that’s besides the point. I knew about alcohol for years and years before I entered high school. I drank it, enjoyed it, and not once did it interfere with my studies. The first time I smoked a joint, not even 1 month later this cycle of skipping 4/5 classes to smoke with friends starting occurring. This wasn’t specific to me, but to many many people in my school at the time.

    You say, “OH you’re just trying to mask that you want to protect the kids” like it’s a bad thing. I’m not masking it, I’m being straight forward with it: I do think it is our responsibility to protect the future generations to some extent. Sure they should know about pot and drugs so they can make smarter decisions since it IS ultimately up to them. But for them to make a poor decision to start smoking at 13, getting the drugs by sneaking into YOUR room and taking YOUR pot from YOUR grow, that’s on your ass!

  2. Dave on

    NOT SO! Cannabis is more like coffee! Don’t know about you but I wasn’t allowed coffee till I was sixteen. And now it’s in soft-drink! And what’s in those power drinks? So don’t give me none of that crap about wanting to save the kids. I suppose like most, you are trying to make yourself look good and/or feel good by showing you are ‘good’ by professing to protect the kids. That’s a common bully tactic! By the way, how old are you?

  3. ray christl THC Ministry CamboDEA on

    This is another neocon idea entering Canada via the same BUSH1&2 CIA christian right agenda.Justify SWAT TEAM FASCISM TO SAVE THE CHILDREN.You now have the ameriKKKa DREAM.If you continue to HIDE in your growrooms and smug smoke hubris will bring yourselves to lose your excellent HOME NATION.Do all all you can do to hire a USA citizen to visit and VOTE in Cannifornia.In 5 months we legalize.You think that will slow down HARPER_BUSH DEA. SAME people in REAGAN DEMS PARTY GOVT.,FORCED (TEATMENT)TREATMENT from new improved NANCY. I love the OBAMA’s as people and parents etc..VOTED happily for this BLOB DEMS SUX but VOTING IN ISSUE POLITY WILL LIBERATE OUR SACRAMENT.

  4. Mark Carlton on

    This is the kinda crap that hurts the movements and gives us a bad name. Marijuana is not the plant of life, lol. It’s a drug just like alcohol or tobacco. It has other uses just like alcohol or tobacco. And most of all, it’s not meant for kids just like alcohol or tobacco.

  5. Mark Carlton on

    You have to understand it’s much easier for kids today to pick up a marijuana habit than a drinking one. Maybe it’s the nature of it being illegal or maybe it’s how subtle the high is. Most teenagers have ample access to alcohol yet do not choose to indulge more than once a week or so. On the other hand you’re as likely to find a daily toker in high school as you are someone who’s never tried the herb. Ever seen a drunk kid walking around high school? Maybe once in four years. How about a high one? Every 30 seconds?

    So no I do not believe walking by people drinking is comparable. As a kid most people see family drinking on countless occasions, 30+ times through their life and many times in late elementary school. Yet most do not end up alcoholics. Let’s face it it’s much, much easier and cheaper to become a pothead. It’s more healthy and less intrusive so people don’t feel bad about the habit as much. There’s nothing wrong with a pothead but it’s a decision to not be made when you’re 12 years old.

  6. Dave on

    Yea, and soon we won’t be able to raise our own children on our own farms. Well for sure not on the factory farms unless they build camps for us. That should be a safe environment for raising kids!

  7. persecutedinalberni on

    Conservatives are so sick in the head,don’t they know a good parent would not be affraid to educate their children about drugs and marijuana and how to grow it properly too.

    I would keep them away from the actual grow op and not let them be in the same room as the stuff but if the child knows the parent is growing out back or where ever it is safe there is nothing wrong with it.

    It is only the lights I would be affraid to expose them to but I would let them see it if it is in a green house.

    The very reason we need to legalize it so we can be proud of it and proud to grow it our own and proud to show the children you know how to grow the plant of life.

    Trust a conservative to lesson the true meaning of child abuse and only sick people would dare use children as a means of attacking pot smoking parents that choose to grow their own.

    To cause that kind of pain by stealing their children because they do what you are against only shows such a government cares nothing for the children.

  8. Dave on

    My sister’s kids walk by 3 liquor stores and 2 bars on their way to school. The mornings are pretty civilized but on their way home from school people are walking around with bottles and cases of booze. My niece told me she saw a women drinking right out of the bottle and also a big truck full right to the top with booze was unloading at one of the bars.

    Didn’t seem to do her any harm at all! So what’s up with this protect the kids crap. Kids need to be told that if they buy into the liars and bullies they to will become liars and bullies.

    I think you’re full of shit; most criminals and especially repeat offenders are most likely from the foster care system. I don’t think they allow grow ops there?

    I know kids who have grown up in addicted bank robber homes who are well adjusted productive citizens because they were genuinely loved. So can the government love your kids for you? Love is what cuts it for kids not taking them away from their homes and punishing them and their parents. So lock up your own kid but leave ours alone!

  9. Dave on

    My sister’s kids walk by 3 liquor stores and 2 bars on their way to school. The mornings are pretty civilized but on their way home from school people are walking around with bottles and cases of booze. My niece told me she saw a women drinking right out of the bottle and also a big truck full right to the top with booze was unloading at one of the bars.

    Didn’t seem to do her any harm at all! So what’s up with this protect the kids crap. Kids need to be told that if they buy into the liars and bullies they to will become liars and bullies.

    I think you’re full of shit; most criminals and especially repeat offenders are most likely from the foster care system. I don’t think they allow grow ops there?

    I know kids who have grown up in addicted bank robber homes who are well adjusted productive citizens because they were genuinely loved. So can the government love your kids for you? Love is what cuts it for kids not taking them away from their homes and punishing them and their parents. So lock up your own kid but leave ours alone!

  10. Mark Carlton on

    The people being targeted are still distributors. I agree that charging child abuse is still absurb but as is the idea that those who grow for themselves and 1 friend are now being put in harms way. I’ve heard the argument a hundred times in videos and on forums from people who claim to have been caught and arrested when they only have 8 female plants for themselves and 1 friend. Yeah okay buddy. I’ve heard very, very few accounts of people being caught with 2 plants or less. Even then most were being bait in some manner. To be honest if you have 3 kids under the age of 10 and you’re growing 60 plants in your basement, that is pretty messed up. Keep in mind this charge cannot be applied if you are involved the drug trade, only if you manufacture or are caught storing drugs in the home in which the children reside. I for one think it’s a little absurb to have your kid accidentally stumble across 30lbs packaged up and 8 plants behind it, especially if he’s around 11-13 years old and already knows about it (kid’s these days right?)

  11. Dave on

    Don’t know what to say, using kids to advance their own agenda? Damn, these people won’t think twice about strapping kids with records that will ruin their lives. Are they sick in the head?

    We need to separate the politician from the criminals and then prohibition will end. It’s coming out now that historically it’s been a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back” type relationship between politicians and drug lords. No wonder politicians of all stripes want to keep drugs illegal. The prices are kept high enough so the drug lords can make a hefty profit and still provide hefty financing to politicians they support! THE CIRCLE OF POLITICAL LIFE!!!

    Chances are any politician that wins and is able to hold on to power, most likely has indirect ties to drug lords. That’s probably why term limits have been imposed on some governments; their crooks! And it seems the politicians were fine with it but now i think the lords are moving into politician turf and they don’t like it. So we have so called drug wars — only drives up the price so when there is enough profit to spread around, watch this they’ll call a a ceasefire!

  12. covey69 on

    On the health issues of people producing by growing, how is what those people do in their homes growing Cannabis as opposed to tomato plants and other plants in the same situation any different?
    Is Cancer still an issue? Fires?? Toxins as they claim??
    Should people refrain from growing tomatoes becasue if this is the situation; then those people growing any kind of plants in hydroponics is at danger.
    What does this mean??
    Are you trying to save the millions of Hydroponics farmers growing tomatoes and plants too in their homes during winter?
    Shouldn’t these experts contact these organizations and save all those people whom grow Tomatoes and other plants in their homes through hydroponics??

    Think of the children for god’s sakes these sickos growing tomatoes and such don’t even know they could kill all of them and should have their children taken away for such negligence.
    How dare they do that in their homes!!

    “These children are drug endangered because they are exposed to toxic fumes which could lead to chronic respiratory disorder, neurological damage and even cancer,” Taverner said. “They’re exposed to the potential fire hazards…

    Hydroponics is bad and can kill many so all people should be made aware of these potential travesties. What??
    No one’s doing that to all those innocent people doing that in their homes and endangering everyone who even steps a foot in becasue you know those plant foods and water could explode, cause chronic respiratory disorder, neurological damage and even cancer. Don’t forget FIRE!!
    OHHHH!! AHHH!!!
    FEAR, TERROR, SCAREY!!
    Terrorism next eh?
    Oh no they tried that too..

    I CALL BULLSHIT!!!

  13. From the 70s on

    MPP Garfield Dunlop says “They also deserve better than growing up in a grow op or having their meals cooked in a crystal meth kitchen.”

    METH ?

    Last year in Canada, we busted 15 meth labs. Last year in the USA, they busted over 6000 meth labs. The year we busted the most meth labs in Canada, 40 meth labs, the USA (which is only 10X larger) busted 17,700 meth labs.

    METH is a TOOL OF FEAR, or so it seems.

    My bet is the MPP doesn’t really know the stats.

    Of course, illegal pot grows is because pot is illegal. MOST Canadians say legalize it.

    The very political police say NO.

    The political police RULE.

  14. From the 70s on

    Cops can’t pull out guns for tobacco.

    You make a good point. If cops used perhaps just a small amount of the police resources they use for their WAR ON POT to enforce tobacco laws (i.e. stop stores selling to minors), they could save countless lives. Most smokers start as a teen.

    The problem is they can’t pull out their guns (i.e. would they raid a tobacco store like they raided Da Kines pot shop, bullet proof vests, machine guns, raided just in time for a LIVE feed for 5:00PM local news (kinda why they are winning their Police State, the 1st 10 minutes of local news is police propaganda stories, politicians can dream of such access to the public, 4 times a day too, people believe what their authorities tell them, even if they LIE, which the do, a lot)).

    Of course some might say its impossible to enforce the tobacco laws since its sold everywhere. But POT is sold in more places.

    I think tobacco should be sold in adult only stores along with the POT.

    Political Police = Police State

    WE are DOOMED …

  15. Anonymous on
  16. From the 70s on

    Political Police = Police State.

    We are into the 2nd decade of very political police in Canada. We may of passed the point of no return.

    Its also our 2nd decade of corporate media.

    Did you hear, the cops put a cop car on the moon.

  17. Anonymous on

    How about a bill to make smoking tobacco in the same house as children child abuse? I think they should work on that first. That’s exposing children to a deadly poison. The politicians don’t care about that, do they, because that would mean half of all Politicians’ children would be taken away. And what about alcoholism. I think having to see your parents reduced to babbling, staggering idiots is child abuse. When is Garfield Dunlop and the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police going toe introduce THAT bill?

  18. Anonymous on

    We already have bills like this one in Alabama. It’s called the Chemical Child Endangerment Act. It is used primarily to target poor whites and blacks. As part of that bill babies are drug tested the minute they are born and if the drug test is positive, even for marijuana, the child is ripped away from the mother and placed in the custody of the state. Instead of trying to help a truly drug dependent mother and keep a family together the mother is prosecuted and sent to jail. My advice to Canadians….Fight like hell to kill this bill!

    Loretta Nall

  19. BS on

    What gets me is that no matter what laws they put in place very few will actually be deterred by them. Decriminalize for personal use and go after the big time dealers thats where the real dangers are. How are we ever going to change these laws? is it even possible?

  20. David762 on

    WTF?
    Have these bozos conflated growing marijuana with running a meth lab?
    How about furnishing some links to real scientific data to back up those claims …
    … crickets …
    didn’t think so.

    Looks like Canada has just a big of a problem with legislators and law enforcement officers of the fascistic persuasion as the USA does, I’m very sorry to say. Considering how some news reports have Canadian LEOs breaking the law to gain entry, and seize evidence for prosecution / persecution, you have some major issues of non-democratic activity to deal with. Hopefully, the truth will be revealed in time for a change in government at the voting booth.

    Here in the USA, constituents haven’t been smart or savvy enough to see through the bullshit of Obama the candidate before making him Obama the Commander in Chief and Emperor Wearing No Clothes. Best of luck to you Northerners …

  21. Anonymous on

    i cant wait to next years 420 and the year(s) after that to peacefully protest marijuana laws!i love people laughing at me!(police and all polititions)

  22. UncleBob100 on

    You know where the conservatives are going with this people. Next they will say because someone is medicating with sacrament that it is child abuse. Those 100 DEA agents who have been here forever in Canada must be sitting back smug and satisfied that their prohibitionist war is finally coming to Canada. Time is well overdue for us to press forward with the truth and legalize the herb once and for all time. Jah bless every one of us.

  23. urnrg on

    This is a societal problem where the police are overstepping their boundaries and using children as a mind-control weapon. Under this law, the police would be able to ask any child to turn in their parents under suspicion of drug use and call it child abuse – that would be unconstitutional.

  24. Mary on

    This is Nazism. Where ARE the opposition parties?? This needs to be opposed at the Federal level!!!!!!!!

  25. Anonymous on

    Its too bad the law likes to consider a grow op the same dangewr as a meth lab, as in the mentioned dangers listed in the article…. another way to ruin lives. LEGALIZE and no kids will be in any position. BREW ROTTINg SUGAR IN YOUR BASEMENT… HOME BREW BEER & WINE!!!!

  26. Brian Kerr on

    The three people in that picture make me want to vomit.

    They are going to apply this law to people who are growing for personal use, I have no doubt.

    I better throw out all my house plants. I did not know having house plants makes my house 40 times more likely to catch fire.

    Why are the cops there ? They should not have anything to say about the making of laws. For shit sakes they enforce the laws. They are in a conflict of interest.

  27. DEXtronaut on

    If we didn’t have prohibition in the first place, these products wouldn’t be produced in areas where children are in the vicinity. These people don’t think clearly. Or maybe they just refuse to do that for outside reasons, who knows.