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New Drug Law Helps To Protect Children

By Hempology | May 21, 2007

Clagaryherald May 19

The Calgary Police Service continues to crack down on parents and family members who expose children to the dangers of drug activity.

On Nov. 1, 2006, Alberta became the first province in the country to pass legislation to protect drug-endangered children.

The act makes it clear that children exposed to serious drug activity are victims of abuse and require protection.

Since then, members of the Calgary Police Service Child at Risk Response Team ( CARRT ) have apprehended 13 children under the Drug-Endangered Children Act.

In January 2007, police seized four young children after a drug raid on a home. The youngest child was just two years old. Officers found more than $700,000 worth of marijuana in the home.

“It is concerning that even with the amount of publicity and education that has occurred in the last few years, a number of Calgary families are still putting their children in harm’s way by having them live in grow-op and drug-lab environments,” says CARRT Const. Melissa Wheatley.

“Parents are also frequently trafficking drugs with their children present. It is important for the public to report these instances, for the safety of the children.”

Under the legislation, child intervention caseworkers and police can rescue and protect children based solely on the fact they are drug-endangered.

Any child who has been, or is likely to be, harmed because of drug activity is considered drug-endangered. This includes being in a place where crystal meth is being made or where marijuana is being grown, or being present when drugs are being sold.

If a child can’t be safely returned to a parent or guardian within two day, the child will begin receiving services under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act.

Research has found that drug-endangered children are at high-risk for chronic respiratory disorders, neurological damage, cancer and physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

The legislation carries a maximum fine of $25,000 or two years in jail.

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