Pot Possession Enough For Child Neglect

The NYPD may not charge you for having small amounts of marijuana, but the city’s child welfare agency is taking a harder line. Hundreds of New Yorkers who have been caught with small amounts of marijuana—or who have merely admitted to using it—have been charged with child neglect, and in some cases had their children taken away. One man had his 1-year-old daughter taken away after he was found with a $5 bag of marijuana, and another parent was charged with neglect after police found an amount of marijuana too small even for a misdemeanor charge. “There is not the same use of crack cocaine as there used to be, so they are filing these cases instead,” says the director of the Brooklyn Family Defense Project.