Head of Kansas DCF: Shameful fear mongering on marijuana issue

The Secretary for the Department of Children and Families, Phyllis Gilmore, a Brownback appointee, says we cannot reduce the penalties for marijuana possession, because the DCF would have to remove more children from their homes due to substance abuse. You can view Gilmore’s entire statement below.

Secretary for DCF, Phyllis Gilmore (seated).
Secretary for DCF, Phyllis Gilmore (seated).

Considering that the vast majority of people in this state and in this country believe marijuana should be legal, one might question why DCF feels compelled to remove children from their homes due solely to marijuana use by a parent in the first place. Alcohol abuse leads to countless deaths every year, yet children are not removed from their homes because a parent drinks a beer.

In her speech, Gilmore also exploits the death of an infant child who was left in a hot car, blaming marijuana for the actions of an irresponsible parent, ignoring the fact that the parent was actually a foster parent, and that DCF removed the infant from the family in the first place, placing the child in the care of a neglectful person.

Gilmore ignores the fact that changes in drug laws have had no impact on the addiction rate, which has held steady at 1% of the population since the early 1900’s.

Gilmore’s agency has been criticized recently over allegations from a whistle blower who revealed that another social worker had been falsifying documents to unjustly remove children from their homes. That whistle blower was fired by DCF for exposing this misconduct.

Gilmore equates marijuana with far more dangerous drugs, citing the dangers of drug abuse as they relate to caring for children, yet Gilmore is oddly silent on the clear and obvious dangers that alcohol abuse poses to children.

Perhaps, instead of concerning herself with the harmless actions of consenting adults, Gilmore should spend more time focused on cleaning up her own department.

7 thoughts on “Head of Kansas DCF: Shameful fear mongering on marijuana issue

  1. once a child is removed from their home, dcf/st francis DO NOT allow the child to return if there is any indication of alcohol and/or any drug use…..period! they have gone so far as to sever parental rights n put child up for adoption. hence why there are soooo many grandparents raising grandkids. as i am doing w my grandkid.
    no its not right for kids to be raised around drug usage, but you cant change the kids emotions abt their family……good or bad……others view of safety only creates trama for the kid. some kids can rise above the trama, most can not.

  2. The only way to force the hand of those at the city and state level is to begin a petition drive to turn Wichita into a dry city. No liquor no tobacco sales. If this is truly for the children’s sake then would they not be safer in a home where alcohol and second hand smoke is not a hazard to health?

  3. I can’t believe she uses a child’s death as an excuse for being against the reform, after she mentions the child was in the custody of *state appointed* foster parents.. perhaps taken into CPS from a drug-related offense committed by the biological parents..
    Then goes on to mention the meth problems.. as if cannabis is comparable.
    Problem after problem after problem.. but if the laws stay the same, those issues will still exist. The laws haven’t eradicated any child suffering. The laws haven’t helped people end their addictions to illegal drugs.. and she doesn’t even notice the addictions to prescription drugs which are more problematic for the simple fact that they’re an “acceptable” addiction.

    People have issues that cause them to seek out means of self-medication, not the other way around. Whether it be mental illness, genetic predisposition, past mental or physical trauma, or the shock of debilitating chronic disease, there is always a reason why people eventually fall into addiction. Why not be a real social worker and try to help people understand themselves better and receive some real compassionate treatment instead of turning humans into criminals. Criminals who are all covered by the same umbrella stigma because we don’t know how to relate to one another anymore. Anyone who isn’t “productive” is considered a piece of crap.

    People can be their own worst enemies, whether they use pot or drugs or not. Her argument is very convoluted, one-sided, and proud. She acts like she’s never had, nor will have, issues and that is just plain denile of the modern human condition.

  4. Every day I thank God that I no longer live in Kansas. When I was just starting out in my career, I lived in Johnson County and worked in KCMO. During that time I was stunned by the complete absence of accountability and “representation” from public officials and legislators that, even to my 20 through 25 year-old eyes, clearly looked like blatant corruption.

    I remember hearing jokes from neighbors and acquaintences about “Okies”, but my unspoken reaction was always “Kansas, Oklahoma… what’s the difference?” I mean seriously people, both states, as well as Texas, have state laws regarding Cannabis that are clearly draconian and, in todays world, can only be justified by either financial interest (lawyers, police, prosecutors, prison system officials and employees), ignorance (here is a sibstance that, due to the recptors that it binds with, simply cannot exhibit fatal side-effects), or pharmaceutical industry opposition.

    I can see no other rationale for this kind of pig-headed stupidity. Yet you Kansas voters continue to re-elect these criminals – yeah, I said it, the C word. What else can you call a representative who doesn’t “represent” the will of his “constituents” and almost certainly profits, whether directly or indirectly, from such legislative dumbassery.

    Come on people, even Mississippi has decriminalized the posession of 30 grams or less of Cannabis, and I’d wager that they are much (much) more inflexibly-entrenched in their ways than your Kansas crooks, er, politicians. If it can be done there – a state whose reputation for backwardness rivals that of KY or WV – then why not *literally* everywhere?

    I knew lots and lots of clear thinking Kansans who are capable of thinking for themselves and who, no doubt, all have formed opinions that are directly in opposition to those expressed by these reprehensible “officials” – where are their voices. Continuing along this utterly cruel, pointless and medically acceptable and dangerous path is nothing short of criminal. I believe that “people” like Gilmore and Mark Kahrs need to be tarred and feathered and sentenced to a week in stocks in the town square.

  5. Attn moderators, in my preceding post (above), in the last paragraph, please revise “pointless and medically acceptable” to read “pointless and medically unacceptable” – I’m sorry, but I can’t seem to find a way to edit a comment that is awaiting moderation.

    1. Also, could you moderators be so kind as to insert a question mark after the first sentence in the last paragraph “where are their voices?” along with a paragraph break before the last sentence of my, er, comment.

      Thank you so much for your consideration, I know that there are several typos in paragraphs 2 and 4 which resulted in misspellings, but I’ve probably already exhausted my welcome insofaras your most gracious editing and patience is concerned.

      Thanks again.

  6. Dolores Umbridge lives, and heads a Children’s welfare agency. I wonder if she ever bothered to ask any of the kids she forced away from their parents what they thought.

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