Medical marijuana laws: Things can get murky with pot and kids

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Tuesday, July 8, 2014.

Say that you’re an adult Illinois resident and parent who consumes cannabis for a medical condition. Provided that you do so pursuant to the requirements of a state law authorizing such use that took effect from January 1 of this year, you should encounter no resistance from authorities regarding your possession or use.

Should having a child in your home change things?

In other words: Notwithstanding that your use is for a legally authorized medical reason, can your family suffer adverse consequences from a state official or agency contending that pot use in the home endangers children, who might need to be removed?

Reportedly, that type of uncertainty has emerged across the country, with legal medical cannabis users being challenged on grounds that the proximity and exposure of their children to marijuana creates a destabilizing home environment. Child custody hearings have taken place. Debates on child endangerment have emerged.

Noting the bedrock family law standard that guides judicial determinations in virtually all matters regarding kids (namely, making decisions that promote their best interests), one commentator on the subject says that “you can imagine how subjective that can get.”

Indeed. Despite medical pot laws being passed in a stream of states over the past few years, critics continue to point out alleged policy flaws in such legislation and the harms that can befall children from in-home marijuana use.

When does pot use harm kids? That is a tricky question without an answer that uniformly satisfies most people across the country. Until such an answer emerges — if ever — courts and legislatures in the various states where medical marijuana is legal will have to continue tinkering with rules and analysis that more full promotes understanding of the subject.

Myriad factors can play into legal challenges and contests involving kids, with drug-related concerns being just one of them. A proven Illinois child custody attorney can answer questions and provide strong advocacy on behalf of any client with a custody or other family law issue.

Source: Fox News, “Changing pot laws prompt child-endangerment review,” Associated Press, June 15, 2014

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