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Medical Marijuana Use and Child Custody

Uncategorized Jun 29, 2017

As you probably know medical marijuana is now legal in many states. As time goes on I am getting more and more cases where individuals have marijuana cards. So with a medical marijuana card, it is legal for them to ingest marijuana for whatever their medical condition is.

There is some controversy because some people say that doctors are handing out these medical marijuana cards like candy. But the fact is if someone has a medical marijuana card they can have marijuana in their possession legally.

It's coming up in child custody and parenting time cases because often times when a party has a medical marijuana card, the other party is saying, either they don't need it or I'm really afraid that their use of marijuana is going to affect their ability to take care of this child and keep this child safe.

This is a valid concern. If you are in a situation where you have a medical marijuana card you have to make sure this usage of marijuana is not knocking you out to the extent that you would not be able to wake up if there were, say an emergency in the middle of the night or anytime really when your children needed you.

You need to make sure that your use of medical marijuana is not affecting your ability to care for your children. And for sure on this, look to your State's laws on custody and medical marijuana and find out what you need to be or shouldn't be doing.

It's like walking on egg shells and it's pretty touchy. Not only does it vary from state to state, it varies from judge to judge. I was on a case recently where my client actually has a medical marijuana card. He has it for a purpose as he has third-degree burns over a good portion of his body due to an accident. He's had the card for years so it is not like he just went out and got a card so he could continue to smoke marijuana.

Nobody was giving him a hassle about having a marijuana card, not even his ex but the judge just really wanted to make sure that my client was ensuring that the children were safe when they were in his care. Also, that they were not exposed to the marijuana or they did not have access to the marijuana. Be very aware of these things if you have a license to have medical marijuana and you are involved in a child custody case. And again, check the rules in whatever State you are in.

Another thing is, as with any prescription drug or alcohol, when you are driving and you've ingested medical marijuana, you have to be aware that if it has impaired your ability to drive, it's possible that you could get a DUI.

People often don't think that they can get a DUI while on prescription drugs because they are legal. But the key is not whether the drugs are legal, the key is whether you're ability to drive is impaired or not.

So if you have a medical marijuana license, take care that you are not impaired when you are driving and especially not driving impaired with your children.

I don't know the law in all states, but I have a background as a criminal lawyer in Arizona and I do know in Arizona, when driving while impaired and they have children in the car, it is a Class 4 Felony and it can land you in prison.

So take care if you have a medical marijuana card, make sure you are complying with the court and the rules of your state because if you don't you could end up 1. in prison or 2. you could end up losing your kids.

Medical Marijuana States* (Subject to Change)

Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia

*Laws vary from state to state so please check the rules for your state for medical marijuana use and child custody.