How a California Medical Marijuana Card May Affect a San Diego Child Custody Case
This is the next post in my series discussing behaviors in a person’s background that may or may not negatively impact their child custody case. My last article discussed how having a history of alcoholism can impact child custody matters in San Diego. In this post I will be discussing medical marijuana laws and how having a card could be used against you in a San Diego child custody matter.
Legalized medical marijuana does not give parents permission to be impaired when caring for children
Many states have taken steps to either legalize, or relax the prosecution of, marijuana over the last several years. Some, like California, have made the substance legal for medical use. While this has had benefits in some ways, it has also caused some confusion regarding what is and is not acceptable. A person with a legitimate medical condition may request a special permit from a physician to buy marijuana legally and use their “prescription” within their own home. However, when it comes to caring for children, medical marijuana is very similar to prescription pills and alcohol- parents should walk a fine line with when and how much they use.
While medical marijuana is legal, a parent continues to have a responsibility to be able to make decisions, take steps to protect children during emergencies, and have unimpaired reflexes. When a parent is transporting a child from place to place then they must not be under the influence of any substance – even if they have a “legal prescription” for that substance. Thus, parents must take precautions if they wish to use marijuana for medical usage. It is advisable to wait until children are asleep to use marijuana or to ensure that another sober adult is present during times of usage. It is also highly recommended that parents use medical marijuana conservatively and ensure that they are not too impaired to act in an emergency. As with alcohol and prescription pills, there is no hard and fast rule about using medical marijuana while children are present. However, if an ex-spouse believes that a parent with a medical marijuana card’s usage affects their parenting ability then it may become an issue that must be defended in Court. In this event, it is best to have as much proof as possible that the parent is a responsible user.
Parents should take proper steps to store medical marijuana properly
Besides responsible usage, one of the biggest precautions parents with a medical marijuana card must take is to properly store marijuana away from children. Parents should have a cabinet, safe, or drawer that can be and is locked at all times. In the event that a parent’s home was the subject to a safety inspection, it is important to demonstrate that children in the home cannot steal or accidentally use the parent’s medical marijuana supply. Taking steps to ensure that marijuana is safely locked at all times away from children is a sign to the Court that the parent is responsible and takes their prescription privileges seriously.
If you hold a medical marijuana card and worry that your ex-spouse will attempt to use this against you in a child custody case, it is important to contact a San Diego family law attorney right away. Contact our office today.