Legal Marijuana and Family Law

BarristerThe abuse of alcohol is often a factor in contested child custody and access hearings. While “social” drinking has never been a concern, where a parent has a history of alcoholism, binge drinking, or drinking and driving, a court will seriously examine whether alcohol abuse is present and take steps to ensure children are protected from its impact.

With the legalization of marijuana in Washington State and Colorado, and the introduction of decriminalization bills in New Jersey, Texas and New Hampshire, family court judges will be faced with a fresh dilemma. When smoking marijuana was against the law, it was clear: a parent who broke the law may not be a suitable custodial parent in some jurisdictions. More often both parents engaged in the activity so the issue never saw the light of day in a courtroom.

But in states where marijuana is now legal and government regulated, it can’t be any different from the consumption of alcohol, which is not a problem unless it results in dangerous behavior affecting the child.

Also consider whether smoking pot in a state where it is not legal but has been decriminalized is any different? Marijuana advocates, who favour legalization, realize that in many jurisdictions legalized pot may be difficult to achieve, but who can argue against decriminalizing marijuana possession in small amounts?

It is inevitable that the legalization/decriminalization debate will come to Canada, particularly if the Liberals are able to oust the Conservative Harper government.

Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang

4 thoughts on “Legal Marijuana and Family Law

  1. You ask, “who can argue with decriminalizing marijuana in small amounts?”. I would be happy to. I have yet to meet anyone who is using other and sometimes much more dangerous narcotics that have not been drawn into the illegal drug culture by experimenting or using marijuana. Marijuana is not a benign narcotic. As difficult as it is to enforce marijuana drug regulations, Canada as a culture must resist the temptation to legalize marijuana even though the cultural left desperately want our children to experiment without sanction.

  2. How many times in Court at the Criminal Sentencing stage, after hurting other people, do we hear the pleas about dimiminshed capacity for the offender, that they were drunk, and had consumed marijuana etc. Interestingly, very few poeple who have ever used marijuana, fail to defend its use. It has a different kind of addiction from other drugs, but a very powerful pull just the same.

  3. Withdrawing from marijuana dependency, however, will be a physically challenging process, because the residues from marijuana will remain in your system much longer than those of many other drugs. The toxins left behind by marijuana usage will collect in your fatty tissues, where they can be difficult to flush out. You can have traces of THC, the ingredient responsible for the marijuana high, remaining in your system for as long as a month after you have last used the drug.

  4. You can certainly see your skill in the articles you write.
    The blogging arena should have more passionate writers like you, who are not afraid to say what they believe.
    At all times, go with your heart.

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