Home > Humboldt County > Murder-by-breast milk case gets national attention

Murder-by-breast milk case gets national attention

A Humboldt County woman accused of murdering her infant by breast feeding him while addicted to methamphetamine is making national headlines, including in the New York Times.

The incident happened last year, but the murder charge was added this week after a preliminary hearing. Prosecutor Ben McLaughlin says he thinks he can prove it was murder, but also appears to be pursuing the elevated charge in hopes that it will give a “meth-addicted mother pause before she breast-feeds.”

Her lawyer, M.C. Bruce says the DA’s office is going overboard.

”I’m very angry,” Bruce told the Times-Standard. “I think it’s piling on and picking on a poor woman who has already suffered a horrible tragedy in her life.”

More from the NYT:

“I think that her conduct is, or was, so intentionally reckless that it rises to the level of implied malice,” said Ben McLaughlin, a deputy district attorney in Humboldt County. “And I think that a mother who is breast-feeding using the quantity of methamphetamine she did, I think that rises to a second-degree murder charge.”…

“This is an overcharge,” Mr. Bruce said, adding that Ms. Wortmon was an addict, not a killer. “It makes her out to be a terrible, horrible person who needs to be locked away for the rest of her life. And my client is not that person.”

Full story.

 

  1. Decline To State
    August 5, 2011 at 7:41 am

    I’ll be very surprised if the D.A.’s office can make their case against this woman. The mother/child relationship is holy in this country and I just can’t see a jury sending a mother who has lost her child to prison on a murder rap.

    I’m always suspicious of motives when Humboldt’s business makes national headlines. Grandstanding?

  2. Goldie
    August 5, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I have wondered if CPS could have done something in this case. I am reluctant to see interference in families but when meth is involved intervention or at least monitoring would seem necessary to me. I personally know of another woman who has given birth. She has dual problems. Bi-polar and meth. Friends and family have contacted CPS and have been told unless they actually see her doing meth they can not help. In time this situation will be in the papers and it will be a happy ending.

  3. Plain Jane
    August 5, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Would you feel any differently if she had given the children meth directly rather than indirectly, DTS? Is there a mother alive who doesn’t know drugs are transmitted through breast milk or a smoker who doesn’t know they contaminate the air with whatever drug they are smoking around children? If she had left the drugs laying around and a child ate them and died she would be charged with reckless endangerment and manslaughter at the very least. That she consumed the drugs and passed them to her baby makes her more culpable, not less.

  4. August 5, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Prosecutors often charge with the toughest offense possible as a way of developing negotiating leverage. I’m not sure if that’s the case here but it can have unintended consequences.

    Many people, myself included, feel that charging Capital Murder in the Casey Anthony case helped gain her acquittal on the more serious charges. The thinking being that jurors were reluctant to convict on a death penalty murder charge with little physical evidence.

    Whether that was the case, or not, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Unintended consequences, should the girl be acquitted, could be any number of proposals for new laws regarding parent/ child relations as we’ve seen with the Anthony case. Heck, even if she is convicted there could be some unintended consequences in that regard.

  5. August 5, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Yeah! Use the Courts to “send a message.” Don’t forget, make new laws too.

  6. Plain Jane
    August 5, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Does anyone believe this woman didn’t know the drugs she took were be passed to her infant or that meth can kill a baby? Was she forced to use the meth or nurse her baby after using it? Women who love drugs more than their babies don’t deserve the title or the rights of a “mother.”

  7. The Big Picture
    August 5, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Many more continue to smoke and drink. The dangers are known for decades.

    It’s difficult to ignore the irony of this murder charge in a nation where our “national security” is predicated on the abuse and countless deaths of children toiling to keep our widgets cheap.

    “I didn’t know”…. is used by nations and individuals for millennium.

  8. Anonymous
    August 5, 2011 at 11:44 am

    No need for new law or have this case set an example. Amy Leanne Prien was first sentenced to 10 years when her murder conviction was overturned, a second trial deadlocked, and finally convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Same thing: poisoned meth baby. A similar case is taking shape for a Fayetteville, GA woman. Murder is the standard charge for this.

  9. Plain Jane
    August 5, 2011 at 11:45 am

    You’ll like this song, TBP.

  10. Walt
    August 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    “Women who love drugs more than their babies don’t deserve the title or the rights of a ‘mother.'”

    Ah, but that’s a slippery slope, PJ. How do you enforce that? Forced sterilization? And what happens to her other kids while she’s in prison? Is the Tea Party willing to fund childcare? And when her welfare is cut off, and CPS loses funding, what then?

  11. tra
    August 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    For some reason, my last comment is “awaiting moderation.” I’ll try again, and see if this one posts directly:

    Good ol’ Bruce Cockburn — nobody’s ever going to accuse him of “pullng his punches.”

    And while that song refers to the IMF, it seems to me that some of the lyrics have much wider applicability:

    See the local, paid-off bottomfeeders
    Passing themselves off as “leaders”
    Just kiss the ladies, shake hands with the fellows
    And it’s Open for Business like a cheap bordello
    And they call it Democracy…they call it Democracy

  12. Plain Jane
    August 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    It isn’t a slippery slope at all, Walt. It’s a cliff. At the top is not hurting your babies and at the bottom loss of parental rights. Her kids would be better off just about anywhere than in her custody ingesting meth. If we won’t pay to protect the helpless, how can we call ourselves civilized?

  13. The Big Picture
    August 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Wow. Lyrics have come a long way from “paving paradise to put up a parking lot”. Too bad the media has gone the other direction since the 60’s to practice widespread self-censorship.

    The mother and child are both victims, we learned long ago that severe penalties do nothing to diminish the crimes of poverty and ignorance.

    Just ask the victims of imperialism as they take up arms with their children, many committing atrocious murders…just before we label them “terrorists” suited for extermination.

    A vicious and predictable cycle that effects every community on Earth despite the free-press blackout.

  14. Plain Jane
    August 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I don’t even care if the mother isn’t punished with the exception of her never having control of children.

  15. tra
    August 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I’m sympathetic to your argument, P.J., but I also see some merit to the question of whether folks making that argument would also support extending that argument to any woman who drinks alcohol during their pregnancy? If their child is born with fetal alcohol syndrome, for example, should the mother be charged with a crime of child endangermentt, or something like that? If the child is being exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke as an infant, should that child be removed from the home and the parents (or other household members) be charged with child endangerment?

    It’s easy enough to look at situation where infants are exposed to things like crack or meth or heroin and justify intervention (in part because those are a relatively small number of cases), but if you throw other much-more-common but still very-harmful things like alcohol and tobacco into the mix, now you’d be talking about many, many more cases. So I think the “slippery slope” argument is not entirely without merit…the question is, where do we draw the line, and are we doing so rationally?

  16. tra
    August 5, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    As far as this particular case, it’s truly heartbreaking, and it does seem like the mother is culpable, though I’m not so sure that an acutal “murder” charge is appropriate (and it seems quite likely that it will eventually be lowered, probably in a plea negotiation).

    Another question that arises for me in these kinds of cases, is whether others might also be culpable, at least to some degree. I don’t know where the father was in this particular case, but it seems to me that if the father or other adult family members were aware of the meth use during breast feeding and did not take steps to stop or at least report the situation, then they should be held responsible to some degree also.

    While a drug-abusing Mom is obviously not ideal,one would hope that in this kind of situation, someone would at least try to convince the mother that if she couldn’t kick the meth habit, then at least she should go ahead and use infant formula instead of breastfeeding.

    Sure, breast milk is generally much better than formula, but breastmilk laced with meth — that’s another matter entirely. I don’t know what happened in this case — maybe friends and family members did try to convince her to get off the meth and/or to use infant formula instead of breastfeeding.

  17. Walt
    August 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I suspect punishment isn’t much of a disincentive for addicts, but when you say “never having control of children,” does that mean while she’s pregnant, too? Or is it only when she’s using? Who will pay for the (weekly? monthly?) drug tests? And then, who’s going to make sure she doesn’t have more kids? That’s what I mean by slippery slope: there are people who become “evil” when they’re using (or drunk, or crazy and not taking their meds), but the rest of the time, they’re “good”. Our society isn’t really making decisions that protect innocent people, like Michael, her daughter, or Gabrielle Giffords.

  18. tra
    August 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I don’t even care if the mother isn’t punished with the exception of her never having control of children.

    Well I can certainly agree with that.

    I think the best case scenario is that she spends some significant time in some combination of jail and/or a secure treatment facility, continues with addiction treatment after her release, makes a full recovery, and then someday is able to have supervised visits with her surviving children.

    But whether the mother goes to jail or not, clearly those surviving children need to be under someone else’s care. Hopefully they can be adopted by a loving family and the remainder of their childhood and young adulthood will be healthy and nurturing so that if they someday have children of their own they will be able to break the cycle of substance abuse and neglect and be much better parents to their own children.

  19. Plain Jane
    August 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    If someone is stopped for drunk driving they are arrested but aren’t charged for vehicular manslaughter unless the have an accident that kills someone. They take the risk when they get behind the wheel while drunk but driving drunk and vehicular manslaughter don’t have the same punishment. The person who was arrested and the person who killed someone while drunk driving took the same risks when they got behind the wheel intoxicated. The same is true of mothers who ingest harmful substances while pregnant or breast feeding. Those whose babies test positive for drugs should be arrested and, if convicted, either lose custody or undergo rehab and regular drug testing depending on the severity of the case. These are babies who are going to grow up addicted to drugs with serious developmental and societal problems. That kid who was just convicted of killing the dogs is a prime example. We’re lucky it wasn’t people.

  20. Ben
    August 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    I wounder if an addicted person has the reasoning to understand the implications of their actions and if they did they probably would not be addicted in the first place. Something like an insanity plea. I do not think that drinking and driving is the same level as meth addiction. This is a difficult case and will pave new ground. I am concerned that the DA’s office may not be able to carry this one off.

  21. The Big Picture
    August 5, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    When Sandra Steingraber gives public lectures, (author of Living Downstream), she passes a jar of mother’s milk around the audience asking them to guess what “the most toxic food on Earth” is, having tested thousands of international samples.

    Laced with dioxins, PCB’s and heavy metals, it is largely responsible for the epidemic in breast cancer and cases of childhood brain tumors steadily increasing since the advent of plastics.

    It’s an unpopular scientific fact that’s completely censored by corporate media, thus, cancer victims march around the CR track in growing numbers when they/we should be marching around our community’s courthouses screaming to enact the Precautionary Principles in Europe that require products to be proven safe BEFORE distribution.

    To keep it “positive” and remain in our comfort zone we’re blinded by the media spectacle of a single victim’s behavior, as if sharing the outrage passes for moral acuity….granting us absolution from our larger responsibility and complicity in far broader and insidious crimes.

  22. SmokeMonster
    August 5, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    PJ-Skirting TRA’s point. WHAT ABOUT MOTHERS THAT DRINK DURING PREGNANCY AND CHILDREN ARE BORN WITH FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME?

    You chose to only discuss dui vs manslaughter and IF THEY TEST POSITIVE at birth. Kids have been born with FAS since alcohol was invented,but according to PJ as long as they dont test for any substance in their system at birth(which is when they test) no consequences?

    How much do taxpayers have to pay for social services of each child born with FAS?

    We have all known of children being born with FAS and never heard the public outrage as you do with meth or crack babies?

    QUESTION TO ANYONE ASSUMING “EVERYONE” KNOWS THE EFFECTS OF TOXINS/BREASTMILK…

    How’s is it in this country a pregnant woman can waddle up to the bar, order a drink and cause irreparable damage to her child while MAYBE people murmur to themselves,THE BAR OWNERS HANG THE “DRINKING WHILE PREGNANT…..” SIGN UP (BUT LEGALLY CAN STILL SERVE THEM!!) ,so OBVIOUSLY SOME PEOPLE STILL DONT KNOW ALCOHOL IS BAD FOR A BABY THAT’S STILL IN THEIR BODY!!!!But some of you assume everyone knows the consequences of toxins passing thru breast milk?

    Amerikkka where Alcohol is a “good” drug

  23. Plain Jane
    August 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Sorry I wasn’t clear, SmokeMonster. When babies are harmed by their parents whether that be from alcohol, drugs, sexual, physical, any sort of abuse, the parents should lose custody of the babies. If they test positive they should be charged with endangerment. If they cause damage they should be charged more harshly. If they kill they should be charged for murder. That’s what I meant by depending on the severity of the case and why I used the example of drunk driving versus vehicular manslaughter.

  24. Anonymous
    August 6, 2011 at 12:36 am

    Aree with PJ for once. The entitlement junkie libs who teach their kids that actions have no consequence and how they feel surpaces what is corect are the most harmful of all. Their posion, spawned from a touchy,feel good, cumbiya has created a lazy, selfish, unrecognizable generation of Americans that seem to only want more more more for less less less. What is the real drug? Who is the real monster? PJ I think this horrible death is a symbol of the comming death of our society.

  25. Decline To State
    August 6, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Sorry not to have responded sooner PJ but was having some problems with The Internet.

    I certainly didn’t mean to come off sounding like I condone this mother’s behavior! My concern was with the D.A.’s office and their decision to press the murder charge and my suspicions about them doing so. Fred may be right in that it’s a legal ploy, I don’t know much about such things.

    I am confused and possibly don’t agree with your position (if I understand it correctly) though that people should be punished to the full extent of the law for any actions that may have the potential to cause harm to others. This would require some bureaucrat(s) passing judgements on “what might happen, maybe” and that invites all sorts of misuse and abuse and just wouldn’t be practical or acceptable.

  26. Plain Jane
    August 6, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Do you oppose laws against drunk driving, DTS, or should we only prosecute those who crash into others?

  27. Bolithio
    August 6, 2011 at 9:23 am

    There’s an old man on a city bus holding a candy cane And it isn’t even Christmas He sees a note in the obituary That his last friend has died
    There’s an infant clinging to his overweight mother in the cold As they go to shop for cigarettes And she spends her last dollar For a bottle of vodka for tonight

    And I guess it struck a nerve, like I had to squint my eyes You can never get out of the line of sight Like a barren winter day or a patch of unburned green Like a tragic real dream, I guess it struck a nerve

    Every day I wander in negative disposition as I’m bombarded by superlatives Realizing very well that I am not alone Introverted I look to tomorrow for salvation but I’m thinking altruistically And a wave of overwhelming doubt turns me to stone

    And I guess it struck a nerve, sent a murmur through my heart We just haven’t got time to crack the maze Like a magic speeding clock or a cancer in our cells A collision in the dark, I guess it struck a nerve,

    I try to close my eyes But I cannot ignore the stimuli If there’s a purpose for us all, it remains a secret to me Don’t ask me to justify my life
    ‘Cause I guess it struck a nerve, like I had to squint my eyes You can never get out of the line of sight Like a magic speeding clock or a cancer in our cells A collision in the dark, I guess it struck a nerve

  28. August 6, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Addiction is not “Normal” thinking. Incentive to regain control

    of one’s child can help to regain control of one;s self.–

    with a little help from one’s friends!!!!!

  29. Plain Jane
    August 6, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Maybe my way of thinking is irrational, but I think punishing people differently for the same behavior depending on how lucky they are doesn’t make a lot of sense. Is it the behavior we want to stop or do we just want to punish those with bad luck?

  30. Goldie
    August 6, 2011 at 10:56 am

    The mother in the case was a known addict. Meth. CPS should be on trial as well.

  31. Decline To State
    August 6, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Nope Jane drunk driving should remain illegal. It just should not carry the same penalties as drunks who crash which is what I understand you to say.

  32. High Finance
    August 6, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I am just speechless !

    I agree with almost everything PJ said on this topic !

  33. tra
    August 6, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Maybe my way of thinking is irrational, but I think punishing people differently for the same behavior depending on how lucky they are doesn’t make a lot of sense. Is it the behavior we want to stop or do we just want to punish those with bad luck?

    Okay, I thought I understood your position, but isn’t this latest comment a contradiction of what you said earlier?

    According to the logic you are using in this latest comment, people pulled over for a DUI, but who didn’t cause any actual injuries or deaths should be punished the same as someone who gets a DUI in an accident where they actually do cause injuries or deaths, right? Because otherwise we’re “punishing people differently for the same behavior depending on how lucky they are,” aren’t we?

    To apply the logic of your latest comment to the fetus/infant endangerment issue, wouldn’t we have to test the mother and fetus throughout the pregnancy, and if drugs (including alcohol?) showed up then we’d have to apply the same penalty as if the child actually died or was born damaged?

    FYI, I’m not trying to play “gotcha” here, I just find this whole issue to be quite a difficult ethical problem. And I thought I understood what you were advocating, but after your most recent comment I’m not sure anymore.

  34. Plain Jane
    August 6, 2011 at 11:53 am

    The potential for harm is the same whether there is actual harm or not. That’s why we don’t ignore drunk driving and why we shouldn’t ignore the potential from harm by drug abusing parents. We take away drunks’ right to drive and we should take away druggies’ right to parent.

  35. Plain Jane
    August 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I don’t have a theory on how we should settle on punishments of the same behavior with different outcomes, Tra. Would you reduce the charge for someone who attempted to rob a bank but found it empty over someone who found the vaults full? The same is true of attempted murder and murder. They tried to kill someone so how are they any less a danger to society than those on death row who succeeded? Should we charge every drunk driver as if they killed someone, or those who killed someone the same as other drunk drivers? Are we punishing behavior or results (luck)?

  36. August 6, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    To me it seems like just opportunity for an ambitious young assistant DA to burnish his “git tuff ” cred. The easiest way to do that is to find the most pathetically bedraggled person and overcharge them with a big crime to get headlines . Is this woman stupid and criminally irresponsible?I’d have to say yes. It’s a pretty big stretch however to call her a murderer. I don’t condone what she did either and perhaps she deserves some l form legal sanctions beyond losing her child to death but charging her with murder seems like nothing more than mean spirited piling on..

    I don’t .agree with Jane’s take so much either because all this summary yanking of children relies way too much on the subjective judgments of social workers .
    many of whom ,, bring their own truckloads of class bias to the situation . . Contrary to popular mythology many of those folks are not nearly as benevolent and enlightened towards poor people as they would have us believe.
    I agree that abusive people shouldn’t have custody of minor children. These days however “abuse” is a pretty elastic term It can mean anything from a repetitively mild rebuke to being motorcycle chain whipped across the face on a daily basis. There are people , some of whom are very well placed within the social services bureaucracy who make very little differentiation between the two scenarios. If they fuck it up the situation even more they have “confidentiality” so no one ever has to know about what happened .. I don’t necessarily support giving people like that even wider discretion to rip apart families. I think that this is a solution that might cause more unintended problems than it solves..

  37. tra
    August 6, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    All good questions, P.J., and I don’t have the answers. Sounds like you don’t either. Oh well.

  38. The Big Picture
    August 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    It appears that the burden of reporting a little truth, (or ANY indication that things aren’t what they seem), is held by a few musicians, poets, TV comedians, and experts like Sandra Steingraber who can’t even get an interview on “public” TV, let alone, the front page mainstream coverage the public deserves.

    In addition to the tragedy of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, there’s a toxin-induced cancer epidemic that will impact one in three Americans in our lifetime. Epidemics that threaten the dwindling ad-revenues of every private media source if they dared to headline it and follow-up.

    Instead, we’re continually bombarded by the sensational circus of symptoms of a nation rapidly divesting from its people, a nation run by the investment-class who, understandably, voted to transfer massive public wealth to stabilize their portfolios.

    Shuttered elementary schools, no free “public” universities, no universal health care, few job programs, training and placement, few living wage jobs, few public rehab centers, inadequate affordable housing, a decaying infrastructure…

    When human beings lose their dignity, they care little about others, they share their pain indiscriminately and must be separated from society.

    We’ll punish the punished until we’re broke, but, education and living wages are the only effective deterrent.

  39. Plain Jane
    August 6, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    When corporations can hire prisoners for $2 and most of that goes to the prison system, there isn’t a lot of incentive to address the causes of crime. I’m wondering if maybe some of the more high tech industries aren’t feeling a little jealous of those who are making bank on prison labor.

    I’m toying with a story line of a not too distant future where corporations order their employees from private prisons and prisons “recruit” the needed skilled labor from a populace that just tries to keep its nose clean and avoid getting setup by the “recruiters.”

  40. Anne on a Mouse
    August 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    we should take away druggies’ right to parent.

    That sounds a little biased to me. What is a “druggy”?

    If they test positive they should be charged with endangerment.

    I disagree. Just because someone has methamphetamine in their system doesn’t make them a bad parent.

  41. High Finance
    August 6, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Don’t be so open-minded that your brain falls out Mouse.

  42. Anonymous
    August 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Every time this Reich-Winger is out of his league, he has only his satire to rely upon.

  43. Plain Jane
    August 6, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I thought it was funny and I don’t usually appreciate HiFi’s humor.

    Using meth while pregnant means you are a bad parent and unlikely to improve with the increased stress of taking care of a baby. A druggy is a person who puts their drug use ahead of their responsibilities, one whose abuse of drugs causes harm to others.

  44. Bolithio
    August 6, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Or who has lost control of their ability to not use drugs, in which case they are chemically diseased.

  45. Plain Jane
    August 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    If you’ve stolen for money to buy drugs, you might be a druggy.
    If you’ve prostituted yourself for money to buy drugs, you might be a druggy.
    If you’ve mugged someone for money to buy drugs, you might be a druggy.
    If you can’t stay off drugs while pregnant or nursing, you might be a druggy. You certainly aren’t responsible enough to raise a child, especially one you may have permanently damaged with your drug use.

  46. Anne on a Mouse
    August 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I thought it was funny too. And I agree about using meth while pregnant, or breast feeding. It is seriously damaging to your kid permanently –definitely bad. And it should be confronted by some authority. And I don’t disagree that it may mean separating a parent from their kids in the case of breast feeding. And in the case of pregnancy, well you can’t separate them, other than an abortion, it’s really a horrible situation. I am against giving anyone drugs against they’re mature consent. I don’t even like to see people who smoke around pets.

    But like I said, just because someone tests positive for methamphetamine (except when they’re breast feeding or pregnant) doesn’t mean that they are bad parents. They may be very good parents. In my opinion, what substances they happen to be using is their own private business. It’s one’s behavior that determines whether what you are doing is abusing a child, or not, not your blood test.

  47. Mary Jane Cunningham
    August 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Drugs should be legalized& dispensed from a clinic by a doctor. Tests should be done, conditions met, before the patient receives drugs. In females of child-bearing age, birth control should be mandatory. Money redirected from “the war on drugs” would actually make a difference.

  48. Plain Jane
    August 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    I purposely wasn’t specific about naming different drugs because I don’t think it matters if it’s prescription drugs, alcohol, meth, heroin, pot, nicotine or coffee. If your use is harmful to others and you continue it anyway, you are a druggy.

  49. Walt
    August 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Or food from McDonald’s? Or television? Or violent video games? Are people who use those things “druggies”? I agree in principal with your ideas, PJ, but realistically, how will you enforce them? I suspect you’re right, that the future will be the Corporate Class owning prisoners and using them as slaves. As they’ve begun labeling anyone in their way as “terrorists” and putting away indefinitely, the next step will be to enslave them, to use their bodies to produce more proles, and insure they produce healthy ones.

  50. Anne on a Mouse
    August 6, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Drugs should be legalized & dispensed from a clinic by a doctor…

    I agree. I think it would help alleviate the “harm to others” done by drug abusers. If this woman would have been getting her rx of amphetamine from a dr, at a clinic I wonder if that baby wouldn’t have been on formula and alive today.

  51. Bolithio
    August 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    “Druggy” has a condescending connotation. How many Americans turn to substances to try to address some other problem, only to find years latter that they have lost control of their lives? Should we shun these people? I have a relative who was prescribed pills for a chronic knee injury. This simple remedy, when combined with serious depression from the reality that the knee problem could only be fixed by surgery – which they could never afford – has spiraled into a full on addiction. At this point, its impossible for this person to quit. Infact they have become delusional, and almost completely unable to function as a member of society let alone a human being. This has laid a serious burden on the family. Whoes to blame? Ever tell someone to just not be depressed? Just quit? Just sayin…its never that simple.

    As long as our solutions lack compassion, we will never solve these problems.

  52. The Big Picture
    August 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    All humans hold prejudices and labeling victims as “Druggies” is certainly one of them. Sorry PJ.

    Have fat people’s addiction not created an epidemic that endangers children that are typically condemned to poor diets, disease and shorter lifespans?

    Do stupid people not endanger their children in a plethora of ways?

    Drug prohibition versus legalization belongs to a bygone era.

    New Zealand provides citizens with fundamental health care, housing, food, education, and employment…(just as we once “learned” via FDR: life with dignity encourages those who want more to work harder for it).

    NZ’s crime and drug abuse rates are nominal which saves their nation billions in prisons, rehabilitation centers, diseases, and lost productivity. This tiny nation’s university is renown for its innovations in science and medicine. Despite their high tax rates, they’ve done well in the crash.

    While the U.S. returns towards barbarism, NZ remains a staunchly conservative, religious and nationalistic country.

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