Drug Addled

Let me juxtapose a few things:

  • The current debate about whether to downgrade ecstasy from class A to B/C. Hotly debated on Radio 2 (?)today whilst I was on the way back from a far flung court.
  • Recently, a CAFCASS Officer who in a case where the father’s hair strand test had come back with very low levels of opiates, stated to me outside court that he ‘always recommend[s] supervised contact in any case where a parent is taking any illegal drugs’. (not much evidence of dealing with each case on its individual merits there). In that case I remarked to my instructing solicitor that there was a slight air of hysteria about the issue of drugs.
  • And again recently, in a different case and a different court, a Judge who stated (in a case where there were allegations of occasional recreational use of drugs by both parent of the other) that we couldn’t possibly prevent all parents who take recreational drugs from caring for their children as these have replaced recreational use of alcohol for many younger people, before going on to say that in her view the hair strand tests were not going to take the matter any further, that the child was not at risk even if the allegations were true and counselling them to consider shared care.

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Sometimes you think you know roughly where you are with an issue and you can pretty much predict what’s going to happen. But sometimes everything you thought you could bank on gets blown out of the water by a viewpoint you weren’t expecting. Am I missing something?

One thought on “Drug Addled

  1. I shouldn’t think so. If only all parents were as perfect as CAFCASS FCAs obviously are there wouldn’t be a need for a family justice system at all. Hair strand tests are often just another opportunity to introduce unnecessary delay.

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