Custody Award of 4 Year Old to Mother Over Father Who Uses Medical Marijuana is Upheld on Appeal

Maine Father and Mother have four year old Daughter. Mother wants to relocate to Florida.

Father uses medical marijuana. At trial, the Maine family court awarded custody of Daughter to Mother and apparently granted permission to Mother to relocate.

Father appeals, contending that the family court’s ruling at trial was an improper penalty against Father for availing himself of a medical remedy that is legal in Maine.

On appeal, Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court upheld the family court’s ruling at trial.

The appellate court delved into the findings of fact made at trial by the family court.

[Father] uses large amounts of medical marijuana … and has a great deal of marijuana, in many forms, all over the home. Friends and relatives … often drop by the house to obtain or ingest marijuana, and the child has been exposed to marijuana.”

Father has “ voluminous amounts of marijuana-infused baked goods in the freezer and a jar full of marijuana in the kitchen cabinet”.

The evidence at trial in the family court also indicated that Daughter suffered with an ear infection for eighteen days before Father sought treatment for her, and locked Daughter in her room, without access to a bathroom, for an extended period so that he could have privacy while using his medical marijuana.

Based on the evidence presented to the family court at trial, the family court concluded that Father had neglected, if not endangered Daughter, and exercised poor parenting judgment. It did not base its custody award on Father’s use of medical marijuana per se, but rather on Father’s parenting.

Read more in this Bangor [ME] Daily News article: Maine Supreme Court rules against medical marijuana patient in child custody appeal .