Can legal marijuana use affect custody in Long Island?
Monday, July 7, New York joins the ranks of 22 other states where medical
marijuana has been legalized, but of course, restrictions apply. Yet if
other states can be relied on as examples of what is to come, a parent
who uses marijuana legally could still have this used against them in
First off, the recent law will not go into effect until over a year from
now. Furthermore, smoking marijuana is still illegal, even if it is for
medicinal purposes. But soon, patients suffering from certain conditions,
including AIDS, cancer, and epilepsy can benefit from medical marijuana
in vaporized or oil form.
Even once certain marijuana users will be protected from criminal charges,
parental rights could still be in jeopardy. While law enforcement can
allow medical marijuana, a family judge might find this usage to be a
negative factor in a custody case. We can look at states where the issue
has already been brought up.
- In Colorado, a father lost parental rights when he received his medical
marijuana registration card.
- In Michigan, a protection agency took a child away from parents who legally
grow medical marijuana. This was because an ex-spouse claimed the pot-growing
was harmful to children.
- In New Jersey, a mother landed in hot water because she promoted hemp at
her child's school.
After a stressful legal process, all these parents regained their rights,
but the law is still not clear in this area in any state. One of the issues
involved is the fact that state laws regarding marijuana are often in
conflict with federal laws. Then there is the ever-present difficulty
of determining what the "best interests of the child" truly
means. Unfortunately, it can be all-too-easy for an ex to claim that this
marijuana usage is akin to abuse or endangerment of a child.
If custodial rights are disputed in a court, these hearings will almost
never be straightforward. You need powerhouse advocacy on your side to
protect your parental rights so you can protect your child's future.
Call Meyers Law Group, P.C. to find out how an experienced Long Island family attorney can fight for
your and your family!