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Mother Tests Positive for Poppy Seeds, Cops Take Her Newborn Baby

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With all the recent discussion of marijuana legalization, it's easy to forget how many other ways the drug war is ruining innocent lives. This disturbing story from Pennsylvania is another example of how inaccurate and irresponsible drug testing practices are creating nightmares for innocent families.

this is not a drug (photo courtesy AJU_photography via and
The birth of a couple’s first child is supposed to be a joyous occasion -- and for the first three days, it was for Elizabeth Mort and her partner Alex Rodriguez. But then the commonwealth of Pennsylvania took their young daughter away after the hospital where she was born reported the mother for testing positive on a drug test. Her drug of choice? An "everything" bagel from Dunkin’ Donuts.

"The best thing in my life had been taken from me and there was nothing I could do to get her back," Mort says. For five excruciating days, officials with Lawrence County Children and Youth Services (LCCYS) kept mother away from child, all based on a positive drug test they didn’t even bother to investigate -- and which the hospital never even informed the mother about. Now, aided by the ACLU of Pennsylvania, the parents are fighting back with a lawsuit against both LCCYS and Jameson Hospital. []

This isn't the first time something like this has happened, but hopefully the lawsuit will send a message to the drug war idiots who keep allowing these sorts of outrages to take place. Breaking up new families, even temporarily, is profoundly traumatic and it's intolerable that drug test results – notoriously unreliable as they are -- could ever be considered a reasonable justification for taking an action like this. That scores of innocent people would be grievously harmed by such policies is not a coincidence, it's inevitable.

The blame for this continuing fiasco rests first with hospital and law enforcement officials around the country, who continue to preside over an error-prone policy of treating mothers as drug suspects. But it doesn't stop there. The entire drug testing industry is culpable for marketing their products as a reliable indicator of drug use, such that numerous agencies see fit to administer harsh punishments based solely on drug test results. Ultimately, the drug war mentality itself, and all who promote and defend it, are responsible for the consequences of the hysteria they've fought so hard to perpetuate in our society.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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We must all join together and rise up against Drug Testing as an invasion of our right to privacy..

1. They are inaccurate

2. They do not prove impairment


Loss of Children, Employment, School Loans, and many other items, should never be based on a urine test. Drug Testing needs to go the direction of the Polygraph.. Outlaw it.. 


No one wants to work with an impaired individual. However Urine testing does not prove impairment, smacks of illegal search and seizure, and is totally against everything this Country stands for as far as a Right to Privacy. Its time to extend the Constitution to the WorkPlace. It will not happen with out US!


Force Impairment Testing into the Workplace People.. Now is the time...

And what's worst about this

And what's worst about this is that most people who hear of this will go "wow, what freak thing; poor mother to have had to go through something like that", and not think much more of it. 

Seinfeld did a very funny bit

Seinfeld did a very funny bit on this very thing back in the last century....further indication that this country has regressed...

It's a really big crime in B.C.

They even have a name for it,although it slips my mind right now(Doda).It's simple poppy pods and seeds and stems dried and ground up and evidently sold for 1900 dollars an ounce,or a kilo,I forget.Must be a kilo.I always used to go out in the summer and collect poppy pods and make 2l pop bottles full of poppy tea for hard times.I can't imagine growing hectares of poppies although that was my retirement plan.Then I heard of a guy arrested in Calgary because a neighbor thought that even though the guy kept completely to himself he was breaking the law.He had been doing it for 10 years without trouble(he used to scrape the resin{opium}).Last I heard the crown wanted 10 years.Had to send a tough message.This is really going out of their way to arrest and harass a Canadian citizen who is growing flowers and harming no=one.The police(In B.C.) are running around trying to find the sources of what amounts to the same thing that mothers used to give teething babies.Real dangerous stuff.Drug war proponents run amok.Things like this make me sick and should be included in the next attempt at legalization,if just to make cannabis look less dangerous.The tea is far less potent than any narcotic on the market and is far better for the addict,far more satisfying.Reduction over a few days ends addiction,yet they provide methadone and persecute poppy tea.Such is the grasp of physicians and big pharma.This is the result of the total lack of training doctors are given on the use and abuse of narcotics and just how to use the drugs to cause minimal damage.

When/how did this even become legal????

I was under the impression that the only reason/authority hospitals had to even warrant drug testing a mother might possibly be if she appeared to be high at the time or if the baby showed effects/signs of drug abuse (like alcohol syndrome or crack babies, but must physically show some sign of abuse). When the hell did the hospitals get the right to play judge, jury and executor proving child abuse through random urine specimens taken without consent?  And have the studies/laws even proven that marijuana causes defects in children to make it illegal like alcohol and crack??? Do they test ALL mothers or do they just pick on the ones they feel like?? I would like to know who is paying for the tests as well???? Does the patient? And if so, ummmm don't you have to be advised you/insurance will be billed for the test (I know any other extra thing they do you have to agree to and make sure if it its covered under your policy). Or are we seriously spending tax payer dollars on these tests?  I understand doctors are required to alert the authorities if they feel there are signs of abuse legally but to take piss tests of any mother that has a kid, this is insane. How many mothers are going to NOT go to the hospital with fear of discrimination and persecution of hospital supposed "policies".  Does anyone  know if this is actually legal?  Where was I when that passed and how many mothers bring in abused children and aren't given drug tests?? How about that, you bring in a physically abused kid or even just hurt w/broken arm (lol) and you automatically get tested instead of a mother giving birth in a safe environment??? WTF is wrong with these people and who gains from this????? Why aren't we spending more resources on helping the proven abused children not making up ones that aren't.  There are too many cases of abused children given back to the parents because the system doesn't work, well drug test them-that makes more sense... if you're gonna make up some dumbass law least make it and use it for a valid reason not to harass anyone who walks through the hospital door.  So have we all given permission to get tested every/any time we go to the doctor?  I know I will avoid hospitals all together and would rather die on the side of the road than have someone assume and make up what happened to me that must have transpired to why I am there in the first place based on a false/positive drug test that has no baring on reason for visit. This is the most disgusting, ridiculous, asinine form of harassment yet. The family better win a HUGE settlement this is completely WRONG on all levels.

my story and thoughts

ok let me explain this PA is one of the only 14 states with no penalty for Falsification of report without prior incident how do I know I was a victim as was my wife of this state. Thank the LORD people listened to us , We were accused of Child abuse a Day after our daughter was born in the Hospital the funny thing is the hospital state NO one in the hospital called I talked to the neonate dr I talked to his boss and no one could find the nurse who supposedly called . Does that sound suspicious ? Pa needs to become like MD and other states who Take Strict precaution with Mandated reporters in some states its a Felony if its proven False and Malicious. Think about it she was on morphine I had to duck out for a about half an hour and I get a call from the hospital about the accusation while taking care of some other things (nothing illegal just some paperwork/notifications for places like welfare)  . but this kicked off a  huge mess we lost our apartment because of them we ended up living with family and had to give my mom custody for a while to get them off our case because they were so insistent on "facts" they had that were more Fiction then anything . interestingly enough the case worker who was attacked in adams county  was the same worker from York County that we had.  She insisted that we were unfit because of me having TBI and my wife having neurological issues but our daughter today is 4 , she reads ,writes , sings. she is not abused never will be God willing , because we live by one thing only ,  As for me and my house I will Serve the LORD, This means punishment is done by sitting down and explaining the wrong thing what's the right thing and how do we obtain help and guidance ,  which is by admitting we have wronged the person and god , nothing harsh no beating whippings starving  none of that junk just pure training in the word in love with patience and dignity. I pray she will grow to be a Loving and good member of the Community who will serve others she already is starting to ask to do that now . Accountability is a must for us all We adhere to the Law if we make a Willing false report to the police accusing some one of something with no facts WE are held accountable shouldn't they?


I work downstairs from a private, for profit testing service. The constant parade of unfortunates to our public bathroom is sickening. Not because they are "lawbreakers" or "criminals", but because the vast majority of them faced charges for simple possession. Whether it was for cannabis or something stronger. Instead of treatment or a simple fine, they are forced into a regimen of repeated humiliation and expenditure to avoid jail time. Some days the trash can is nearly overflowing with used test cups. At $100+ dollars a pop at an average of 10-20 "appointments" that sentence is grossly excessive and serves to support a parasitic industry reliant on the continued criminalization of cannabis. These facilities are run by Piss Vampires.  

This story is hard to believe. There is certainly more to it.

I hope to stand corrected, but it reads like one of those right-wing stories about how the public school teacher expelled a child for saying she admires Jesus or something.  

Conflict of interest?

"The dog that didn't bark in the night"-- while testing to catch "drugs", what have hospitals been doing about the known prevalence (maybe up to 20%) of mothers who smoked nicotine $igarettes during pregnancy, continue to smoke nicotine $igarettes during lactation and in the presence of the breathing child-- oh I guess that isn't illegal.  If 20% of the children grow up to be hooked on nicotine, hospitals (and drug companies, etc.) will make more money 50 years from now.

"The best thing in my life

"The best thing in my life had been taken from me"

I couldn't tell if she was referring to the baby or the bagels.

Thoughts from a CPS worker

I have been a Child Protective Services investigator for 20 years.  What happened here is called a SEN or Substance Exposed Newborn.  Hospitals are mandated reporters and required to report any newborn which tests positive for illegal drugs.  I, myself have removed babies from the hospital for this reason.  CPS is required to INVESTIGATE all such reports and during the process we must provide frequent contact for the parents with their infant.  Marijuana is nothing compared to alcohol use during pregnancy.  FAS or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome diminishes a child's prospect's for meeting developmental milestones.  Children with FAS face a lifetime of health hardships.  I must say that most all babies I've removed as SEN have been returned to the parent.

The hospital does not use urine. The infant's blood is tested and if something is there that should not be there a call to Child Protective Services is required in most states.  As a CPS worker I would NEVER rely on a urine test to take custody of someone's child.  And if the substance is marijuana, most CPS workers won't remove as many parents use marijuana and function normally.  For me, it is not a matter of any specific drug a parent uses but their level of functioning that must be assessed.  If they are so intoxicated on a regular basis that they cannot perform responsible parenting, CPS must intervene.  On the other hand, some parents, believe it or not, are responsible drug users and good parents, some are not and it is CPS's job to determine if a child is safe with the drug using parent. 

I read the entire story on

I read the entire story on another site. Mother was URINE tested as per hospital policy, all moms are. Tested positive for tiny/trace amounts. Baby was then tested finding NO traces of anything! CPS took child anyway.  So no SEN here. This is a gross abuse of authority, typical CPS!!!!! They did not allow mother, father or grandparents access/contact with child for FIVE days. Even after they admitted they made a "mistake" the parents didn't get the child back for 2 days.

It is very sad that IDIOTS such as these have the authority to come into anyones home and take away their children on a suspicion. Without any facts, without any substantial evidence!


It is the function of cps to perpetuate the budget needs of cps They don't give a rats ass about your kid, they only want to keep sucking the blood of innocent taxpayers and parents. They are parasites who would serve us best by shooting themselves in the head.

And fetal alcohol syndrome doesn't just affect child involved

FAS children are at high risk of causing problems to society,and being alcoholic themselves. Their cognitive skills and impulse control are impaired, and they have pretty damn good reason to be angry at the world too, especially if they don't get some good counseling to understand what's been done to them. But problem children like Michelle Liarheart and Billy Bennett don't spend a second worrying about this. They're petrified by the idea that a safer alternative to alcohol will be legalized. Even for people who really need it for a serious medical problem, which is a flat out evil thing to do, quite criminal in any normal decent world. 

This is a truely terrible story of ignorance and abuse of power!

I could not believe this crazy and horrible story!! I am the mother of two adorable little boys and my husband and I love them more than anything!! If something like this happened to us at the hospital when either one of them was born, we would have sued the hospital and everyone involved with this "mistake"!! As a mother, I can't imagine what this new mom had to be thinking and feeling when they took her newborn baby away from her!! I hope these parents get whatever kind of justice they want and need (I can't imagine how someone could make up for this though) and that we never have to hear a story like this again!! 

Time to stop the insanity, injustice & inhumanity! CUT CPS!

What is it with taking kids away? What happened to finding "alternatives" to putting another kid into the system? Too many "workers" or administrations are making too much money "selling"="adopting" out these kids...yet with how many kids are given several different drugs due to them being "damaged" today I'm sure that they are getting kickbacks from the drug companies. One worker was threatened with losing her job if she didn't stop poking her nose in and making complaints about how many meds that a couple of 5 yr olds that she was given to represent were on. She eventually passed the information on to
the families lawyers in hope that they would be "rescued".
Some psychotropic drugs are not to be given in conjunction with other meds or given to children
under a set age, I think it's 12 years. They have children as young as 3 years old on several different drugs and claim that the child is having psychological
& behavioral problems. B.S.!
I believe that these child protection agencies need to be gutted and rebuilt.
Also what's with the immunity from prosecution protection? So that they can screw up and get away with it and not be held accountable? Cause there has
been many a time that these people have "caused" the death of an infant by their actions or interference. Plus they also don't always place kids with properly vetted foster parents either. There's been enough "missing" kids due to them slipping through the cracks in the system. Time for that system to be recycled! Time for people to not have to be afraid of vindictive people making false allegations against good parents - only to have some arrogant, self important worker decide she could make a nice profit off their cute kids.
Follow the money and you'll find the corruption! Shame we still haven't found any of the over 12,000 kids that have been "lost" by Child Protection Services in Florida alone!
Some protection service...shut them down & start over! This is something that should be given to a group in OWS so that they can make some noise and get it some positive attention. Time to turn on the spotlight on CPS and watch the cockroaches scatter!

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