Heymann & Fletcher

Can a parent's use of marijuana affect child custody?

The state of New Jersey is considering a bill that might ease the pressure parents who use marijuana may face. Though New Jersey currently has a statewide medical marijuana program, there is still a lot of red tape. The method of consumption, amount allowed and qualifying conditions are all regulated. For parents who may feel marijuana helps them, but have not yet qualified for a medical card to use the marijuana, loss of child custody is a major concern. 

A new bill looks to alleviate some of the confusion and risk a parent may face. Under the new proposal, a medical card will no longer be necessary for adults to purchase and use marijuana within the state. Though there will still be regulations for amounts a person may have, who will be licensed to grow, and where marijuana may be purchased, parents will be free to use marijuana within the confines of the law. 

This is a big change, and many experts applaud the proposal. Research may indicate that marijuana can treat a broad range of conditions without the risks associated with other pharmaceutical drugs, such as opioid pain killers. Currently, a parent caught using marijuana could lose child custody or visitation, and many feel that this is an outdated and detrimental policy. 

If a New Jersey parent fears that he or she may be facing legal proceedings pertaining to a matter of child custody, a knowledgeable family law attorney can be an asset. An attorney is often up to date on the latest legislation as well as local court procedures. He or she can stand alongside a parent to protect all applicable legal rights at every stage of the court proceedings with a view toward achieving a child custody arrangement that is in the best interest of the children and preserves the client's right to maintain a healthy, loving relationship with them. 

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