Oklahoma’s foster care system has been beleaguered by high rates of abuse and neglect for years.
And, as The Tulsa World reports, much of that child abuse is due to Oklahoma’s high levels of meth addiction, with the state’s opioid addiction struggles adding to the problem in recent years.
In addition, Oklahoma has high rates of mental illness that can contribute to foster child abuse and neglect. The state was recently ranked number 46 nationwide when it comes to frequency of mental distress among the populace. But there is good news on that front—state mental health services are set to receive an appropriation of $337 million for fiscal year 2019; that’s $11 million more than this year's total.
But now, state child welfare advocates are wondering how the legalization of medical marijuana will affect the safety of foster kids in Oklahoma.