Heymann & Fletcher

Child custody dispute focused on medical marijuana

When a parent in New Jersey or elsewhere is considering an alternative medical treatment for his or her child, it is incredibly important to consider every possible outcome. For one mother, the use of a marijuana-infused product has led to the loss of her custody rights and what is shaping up to be a lengthy child custody dispute. That might have been avoided had she turned to a family law attorney prior to initiating the course of treatment.

The child in question is a three-year-old girl who has been under treatment for a medical condition. A doctor prescribed a powerful antipsychotic medication, which has caused hallucinations, seizure-like spells and vomiting. Frustrated and seeking relief for her daughter, the mother prepared a smoothie using butter that had been infused with marijuana.

When she brought the child in to see a physician later in the day, testing revealed the presence of marijuana in the toddler's system. That prompted a call to the authorities, who then removed both the toddler and a male child from the mother's care. Both children were placed in the home of their father, and the mother has been granted supervised visitation.

As she continues to fight for the return of her children, the mother faces a serious legal challenge. Medical marijuana use is not legal in her state of residence. In addition, she also faces criminal charges of causing injury to a child. For any parent in New Jersey who is considering using herbal or alternative therapies to treat children, it is important to consult with an attorney prior to beginning treatment in order to avoid a child custody dispute.

Source: idahostatesman.com, "Mom who gave pot butter to daughter still denied custody, judge rules", Alex Riggins, Dec. 23, 2016

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