Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pot & Child Custody

From DelawareOnline:

DENVER – A Colorado man loses custody of his children after getting a medical marijuana card. The daughter of a Michigan couple growing legal medicinal pot is taken by child protection authorities after an ex-husband says their plants endangered kids.

And police officers in New Jersey visit a home after a 9-year-old mentions his mother’s hemp advocacy at school.

While the cases eventually were decided in favor of the parents, the incidents underscore a growing dilemma: While a pot plant in the basement may not bring criminal charges in many states, the same plant can become evidence in child custody or abuse cases.

Read more here.


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I have been practicing family law in Arizona for almost twenty years. Although I cannot speak to how courts address the medical marijuana issue in other states, my experience has been that every Arizona judge before whom I have had this issue arise have all found that it is not in a child's best interests to be in the care of a parent who is under the influence of marijuana. Of course, the problem then becomes how to address an issue when the parent stipulates he or she will not use marijuana while the childI(ren) is in his or her care since drug testing is not sufficiently precise to determine if the consumption of marijuana was before, during, or after a parent's parenting time.

Posted by: Chris Hildebrand | Aug 10, 2014 11:43:51 AM

Child support must be calculated according to a complex formula set forth in the Family Code. It is complex because it is supposed to be perfectly fair, unlike the simple and arbitrary formulas used by other states.

Posted by: Jarred | Aug 21, 2014 10:48:00 AM

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