A court in Los Angeles recently allowed a pot-smoking father to keep custody of his young son. The reasoning for this ruling is that he has a medical marijuana license, so he is not exactly abusing the drug. In addition, his use of the drug is not negatively affecting his child, which is often an aspect that is considered when determining who should have custody when one parent is using mind-altering substances.
Legal Marijuana for Health Use, and Child Custody
The man suffers from arthritis, which leads him to smoke pot up to five times per week to control the pain. He does not smoke around his son, and tests even show the toddler has not been exposed to smoke. The toddler lives with his father because his mother has dealt with mental illness and drug abuse for years. He goes to daycare while his father goes to work, which is mostly where his father smokes pot. However, he has claimed he waits at least four hours after smoking to go pick up his son from daycare.
Questions of Child Endangerment
The main reason the father has even been questioned about his use of marijuana is because a local child protective agency accused him of endangering his child. This caused the toddler to be taken from his father’s care, but since the mother could not care for him, he was placed under the supervision of the agency. At that time, the child protective agency requested the father have random drug tests and take a parenting course.
L.A. Court Landed on Father’s Side
The appeals court reversed these instructions, claiming the father was not endangering his child and was not even abusing drugs. The court went on to state that the father’s drug usage is not the type of drug abuse that would affect child custody at all. This is because he has not forgotten about his child or put him in a dangerous situation while taking the drug. He has also not had complaints of poor performance at work, and no doctor has diagnosed him as a drug abuser.
Clearly, using drugs that have been prescribed to you, such as to relieve pain, should not put you at risk for losing custody of your child. Of course, you may end up in a legal battle if a single agency or person thinks otherwise, but this case shows you would likely not lose custody unless the child appears unhealthy or neglected as a result of your drug use.
Child Custody Lawyer in New York with Knowledge of Drug Abuse Expertise
On the other hand, if your ex-spouse uses drugs and you are concerned about the safety of your children while in his or her care, you have a right to investigate. If you can provide evidence of drug abuse, and wish to have child custody changed in your favor as a result, call Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. to start your case. We can help you find out more about whether your children are well-cared for when your ex has custody of them.