Family Courts Deny Child Custody and Restrict Visitation and Timesharing To Parents Engaged in State-Sanctioned Medical Marijuana Use and Cultivation

Washington state Father and Mother have two Sons together. They broke up some time ago.

Father and ex-Girlfriend have a Daughter together. They have also broken up.

Father is a glassblower who also runs an organic farm.

Father has no criminal convictions and has never been accused of child abuse or domestic violence.

Father’s timesharing and visitation with all three of his children is restricted.

His timesharing with all three children is required to be supervised. And takes place only twice a month.

At a supervised visitation center. Sons are not legally permitted to enter Father’s house.

Why the requirement of supervision?

Father uses and grows marijuana for medical purposes, in compliance with Washington state law.

Under Washington law, medical marijuana patients “shall not be penalized in any manner or denied any right or privilege”.

Still, family court judges routinely consider state-sanctioned medical marijuana use in making child custody rulings and visitation and timesharing rulings.

Such rulings arguably are not exercises of the court’s power to punish or disciminatory against medical marijuana patients.

They are arguably exercises of the family court’s sound discretion in carrying out their charge to rule in the best interests of the children who are the subjects of the divorce and child custody cases they preside over.

The other parent of the children arguably has an interest in insulating their children from illegal drugs and illegal drug use (under federal law).

And in their children not being left in the care of a parent whose judgment is or may be impaired.

Courts in other states that permit medical marijuana use, such as Colorado, have ruled similarly to the Washington court presiding over Father’s case regarding his Sons.

Read more in this Associated Press article: Medical Pot Can Cost Parents In Custody Disputes and this San Francisco NBC TV news article: Medical Marijuana Weighing on Child Custody Disputes.