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Maryland watches child custody case involving medical marijuana

Recently, a father in another state appeared before that state's highest court in an appeal of a lower court's decision to give custody of his 4-year-old daughter to his ex-girlfriend. The man argued that the lower court's decision was based on his legal use of medical marijuana. However, the chief justice said that the decision to disallow child custody was based on the man's previously demonstrated inability to properly care for his daughter. This court's ruling may be of interest to Maryland parents who are also medical marijuana users.

There are documented cases of neglect to support the court's decisions. On one occasion, the man reportedly locked his daughter in her room so that he could have privacy to use his legal form of marijuana. Reports indicate that she was in there so long that she had no choice but to urinate in her room. Also, there were allegedly photos showing that the man had his medicinal marijuana all over the house in several different forms, all of which could have been accessed by the child.

Under the state's laws, there is a provision protecting parents from child custody judgments being made based on them having been prescribed marijuana. According to the director of one of the state's medical marijuana associations, medicinal marijuana should be treated just like any other medication prescribed to a parent. In the state, there are no known cases of parents being denied child custody based on prescription medications. 

This is an important case for those who use medicinal marijuana. Parents who have an illness that allows them to use the legal form of pot may want to consider risks associated with this type of treatment before filling a prescription. These parents may also want to seek the advice of an attorney in Maryland who understands family law and can help a medicinal marijuana user retain child custody.

Source: bangordailynews.com, "Maine Supreme Court rules against medical marijuana patient in child custody appeal", Nok-Noi Ricker, Jan. 29, 2015

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