Baby, meet bathwater

At first glance this makes a good deal of sense:

Bill would protect kids from drug endangerment

The bill would make it a separate offence to “drug endanger” a child. It would establish drug-endangered children as a category in need of protection. It would also add drug endangerment as a form of child abuse under the Child and Family Services Act, Dunlop said Wednesday.

Endangerment would include exposing a child to the manufacturing or production of an illegal drug, as well as any substance that is used to make illegal drugs, he said.

Obviously, having little kids living in houses that are meth labs or grow ops is a poor idea.

It’s the “any substance that is used to make illegal drugs” clause that worries me here. Lots of perfectly normal household substances go into drug manufacture — alcohol, acetone, paint thinner, camp-stove fuel, gasoline, some kinds of cold/allergy pills, and so on. It seems to me that many a fishing expedition could be carried out under such a law: “Your Honour, we found no less than SIX such substances in the house! Think of the chiiiiiiildren!”

Surely social services and the law already have sufficient other tools to cope with the Crack-House Kid problem?