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Proposition 64 can affect child custody cases

Proposition 64 will make recreational marijuana legal in California. This proposition also provides protections for parents who use medical marijuana so that they won't lose their children simply because of using cannabis.

Many parents say that it is time for this type of protection because they have suffered -- and their children have suffered -- because the children were taken away and placed in foster care because the parents used medical marijuana.

Officials note that they don't take children simply because the parents have used medical marijuana. Instead, they claim that they are taking children when there is evidence of harm caused by the marijuana or a threat present because of it.

In one case, a man found out that his ex-girlfriend had a baby that was his. He went to the hospital and learned that she wasn't able to bring the baby home. He petitioned for custody. He was required to take a drug test. He was upfront about using medical marijuana in the past because of an accident-related injury.

His test came inconclusive, but he was still unable to get his child. Officials claimed that he wasn't cognitively able to care for his child. This was in September 2015. He is still fighting for custody of his child.

The tie between marijuana usage and the family unit is one that has to be carefully considered. It seems as though this is going to be a battle for some time to come. Parents who have custody cases of any sort that include marijuana usage should be sure to understand their rights as they go through the case.

Source: The Whittier Daily News, "Can marijuana break up a family? Parents face custody issues over legal cannabis use," Brooke Edwards Staggs, Dec. 13, 2016

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