On April 10, 2019, CCR Advocacy Program Manager Nahal Zamani testified during a hearing on the impact of marijuana policies on child welfare before the New York City Council Committees on Hospitals and General Welfare.
In our testimony, we discussed the practice of disproportionate drug testing of Black women in New York City hospitals and the exposure to potentially devastating collateral consequences for them and their families, including the potential for family separation. We also applauded a legislative package that aims to increase public reporting on the prevalence of this practice and two resolutions that urge policy and legislative changes that would end the harmful impact of this practice. Our testimony highlights the discriminatory targeting of drug testing for new mothers and their newborns; the impacts of ACS investigations and potential removals on the basis of mere marijuana usage among mothers; the need for a harm reduction approach in the health care setting that reduces and ultimately ends stigma; and the disconnect between this practice and the national conversation to legalize marijuana.
Read the testimony below.