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New York City Moms & Babies Tested For Marijuana

Posted on  December 31, 2012 by  News Admin

 Public hospitals continue to drug-test mothers and newborn babies for marijuana, despite the fact that such tests have been shown to be inaccurate and that common soaps used to wash infants can cause false cannabis positives on such tests. And tragically, mothers are often arrested and separated from their babies. Mothers in New York City, for instance, who test positive for marijuana after the delivery are likely to have a Child Protective Services investigation to contend with, before they can even get the baby home, reports Kiri Blakeley at The Stir. More than a dozen maternity wards in the Big Apple routinely test new moms for marijuana, then turn the results over to city authorities. City officials claim no figures are available on the number of "neglect" cases that result simply from positive maternity ward drug tests. But estimates from attorneys put the number between 100 and 200 mothers charged every year, reports Oren Yaniv of the New York Daily News. Did I mention that these moms are (of course) almost exclusively minorities and low income? Suburban white women on prescription medication like Xanax have nothing to fear.  Hospitals in affluent neighborhoods like Methodist Hospital in Park Slope and Lenox Hill on the Upper East Side test only on rare occasions. That's why "you just don't have these cases in privileged women," said attorney Emma Ketteringham of the Bronx Defenders. Family court lawyers are seeing more and more "neglect" cases brought against new mothers, simply because they tested positive for marijuana after delivery....

Infant Drug Tests For Marijuana Are Unreliable: Researchers

Posted on  August 20, 2012 by  News Admin

 Women in many states have gotten in deep legal trouble -- including losing custody of their kids -- after showing up positive for marijuana on hospital drug tests. But the most commonly used methods for detecting cannabis exposure are unreliable when used on infants, and "should not be reported" without more tests and followup by hospital staff and social workers, according to a new study recently published in the journal Clinical Chemistry. While infant drug tests are commonly used across the United States, it's often done only in cases where the mother has some history of substance use, reports Stephen C. Webster at The Raw Story. Positive results for marijuana on the immunoassay drug test are often followed by a more targeted THC test to confirm the results.  But scientists with the University of Utah found that even the more targeted THC assay tests -- the ones used for confirming results -- show a "significantly higher" rate of false-positive results with infants. Research published earlier this year found that many different soaps and household products, including baby shampoo, can cause false positives in immunoassay tests. This follow-up study tried to determine what's behind the higher rates of false positives for infants. The study doesn't even touch the subject of whether non-pot-smoking parents have unjustly lost custody of their babies due to false positive drug test results. But it does greatly damage the view that THC assay testing is a reliable method of detecting cannabis use. According to the researchers, infant urine analysis results that show...