Will having a medical marijuana card affect custody of my Children? 4 Answers as of July 25, 2013

I got a medical marijuana card last year and have been smoking much more recently for my headaches and back-pain which is one of the reasons my wife and I finally separated. Since I am doing it legally, can this affect custody of my children?

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Law Office of Margaret D. Wilson
Law Office of Margaret D. Wilson | Margaret Wilson
In California even if the person is legally in using marijuana it can impact custody and visitation with their minor child(ren). What the court is concerned about is "what is in the best interest of the child(ren)". The courts do not care what is in the best interest of the parents or even what is fair to the parents. Consequently, if the court finds that it is not in the child(ren)'s best interest to be with a parent that is smoking marijuana the court can deny custody and visitation for so long as the parent is using marijuana. Alternatively, the court may order that the parent abstain from using the marijuana for a certain number of hours or days before and during the visitation with the child(ren).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/27/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
It could possibly affect custody of your children. There are reports that many people get medical marijuana cards for recreational use of marijuana, and there are other, more traditional medications, either over-the-counter or prescribed, that can treat or reduce symptoms such as yours. Whether your use of marijuana would affect custody in your case would depend the evidence in your case and your particular judicial officer's views of the matters addressed above.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/27/2011
Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
There are some judges who will not consider a medical marijuana card as legitimate reason for smoking marijuana. If you know that your spouse will bring this up against you, you should consider retaining an attorney who is familiar with the judges in your county. As it is fairly easy to obtain a card, a judge often views the possession of the card and use of marijuana as the same as using illegal substances.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/27/2011
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
Yes, smoking marijuana can effect a custody decision by a judge, depending on the particular facts, such as how much you smoke, when, where, in front of whom, etc.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/25/2013
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