Marijuana Use in Child Custody Cases In Maryland
Since medical marijuana was legalized in Maryland, the courts have had to consider the medical and recreational use of marijuana and its potential effects on a child in a child custody case. Here is an overview of the laws behind marijuana in Maryland, and what to consider if you and/or your ex use marijuana and are involved in a child custody case.
The Law in Maryland
First and foremost, the recreational use of marijuana is not legal. In 2014, the state of Maryland decriminalized the small possession of marijuana of fewer than 10 grams. However, a person who is in possession of fewer than 10 grams of marijuana may still be issued a civil citation and fined, similar to a traffic ticket. Any possession of over 10 grams of marijuana is a criminal offense.
Medical marijuana, more formally known as medical cannabis, was legalized in Maryland in 2017 through the program called, Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC). As of December 1, 2017, authorized dispensaries in the state of Maryland can sell medical marijuana to certified patients. A patient must first obtain written certification from a licensed physician in the state of Maryland. To obtain written certification, the person must be diagnosed with a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition, or have a condition so severe that other treatments have been proven to be ineffective. Medical marijuana is legal for qualifying adults and children.
Marijuana and Child Custody Cases
The decriminalization of marijuana, as well as the legalization of medical marijuana, are less than 10 years old in the state of Maryland. As a result, the use of marijuana in child custody cases may lead to varying results. All child custody determinations are made considering the best interest of the child. When it comes to marijuana and child custody, there are some important questions to consider:
How does the parent’s use of the substance impact their ability to parent?
Is the substance out of reach of the child?
How long has the parent been using that substance?
Is there a known substance abuse past?
Is the parent taking the substance responsibly and as prescribed?
These questions will help determine whether the parent’s use of marijuana will negatively impact the child. Since custody cases are very fact-specific, it is important to be honest with a family law attorney about your use. Your family law attorney can analyze the facts and advocate for a favorable outcome on your behalf.
If you have questions about marijuana and child custody in Maryland, contact Laurie Wasserman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our main number 410-842-1070. For the foreseeable future, we will be available by telephone and virtually to serve our clients.