Does Using Weed Make You A Bad Parent?
Despite the growing acceptance of marijuana in society and its shown medical benefits, a Pennsylvania Superior Court has held that it is not an abuse of discretion to consider a parent’s marijuana use, whether medical or recreational, when determining a child’s best interest. H.R. v. C.P., 2019 PA Super 357 (Pa. Super. 2019). This is significant given the fact that medical marijuana is legal in Pennsylvania and the law legalizing it states that an individual’s medical marijuana license shall not be considered by a court in a custody proceeding.
Generally child custody disputes in Pennsylvania are decided using the “best interest of the child” standard. This standard includes a host of factors, including a party’s history of drug or alcohol abuse and any other relevant factor.
Even though the Medical Marijuana Act states that an individual’s medical marijuana license shall not be considered by a court in a custody proceeding, the wording of the law does not explicitly ban the courts from still considering an individual’s history of recreational drug use. So while the court will not consider that a party has a medical marijuana license, they can consider the party’s medicinal use of the drug.
No one factor should be given more weight than any other factors, but it is important to know that a medical marijuana license does not prevent the courts from factoring a party’s marijuana use into their determination.