PHOTO: Jonathan Oakley
What’s worse than going to jail for cannabis? Your children taken away by child protection services for it. If you’re incarcerated, you receive a specific custodial sentence — which may be reduced for good behavior or perhaps even commuted — during which you are guaranteed visits with your family. You can count down to your release, which is guaranteed to occur (at least eventually, although there are collateral consequences of a drug conviction and a criminal record afterwards). If your children are removed as part of a child protective services (CPS) intervention, they are taken from your parental custody for an indeterminate amount of time, you may or may not get to see or even speak to them, they may fare badly and suffer in care, and they may be gone forever. If Americans are not careful, the last vestiges of the war on drugs will be fought in our wombs and with our children.