‘Legal’ marijuana could still hurt your custody case

Colorado, Washington and a few other states have now legalized the recreational use of marijuana, and many others have decriminalized it or approved it for medical purposes.

But just because someone is possessing, smoking or growing pot in a place where it won’t cause them to go to jail doesn’t mean there aren’t other legal consequences. Marijuana use can still be a big issue in a child custody case.

Regardless of whether marijuana smoking is a crime, judges still consider what’s in the best interests of a child when deciding on custody and visitation.

For instance, a court in Colorado stripped a father of custody after he started using marijuana for medical purposes, finding that exposure to pot smoking at home would not be in the children’s best interests.

And in Michigan, child-welfare agents took a girl from the home of her mother and stepfather after the mother’s ex-husband reported that the couple were growing pot in their house. Even though they were doing so legally for medical use, the state was concerned enough to remove the child.