Does New Medical Marijuana Law Affect Child Custody?

Illinois legalized medical and recreational marijuana on Jan. 1, 2020. However, it is still against the law at the federal level, and there are questions about how marijuana use can affect child custody and the allocation of parenting time. Talk to our Chicago and Skokie child custody lawyer today if you have questions about child custody and marijuana use.

Marijuana Legalization In Illinois

Illinois became the first state to legalize marijuana use via legislation instead of a ballot initiative. The law allows residents 21 and older to buy up to 30 grams of cannabis flower and up to five grams of concentrate. Visitors to the state can have ½ of those quantities. In addition, the law authorizes adults to use cannabis at home or in approved locations, but landlords and businesses have the right to ban cannabis use on their properties.

Regarding medical marijuana use, the state allows use with a doctor’s recommendation, after the patient has registered with the state for its use. However, you are not allowed to cultivate cannabis yourself.

Medical Marijuana and Child Custody

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act outlines how parenting time and parental responsibilities will be allocated after a divorce. The parenting time you receive with the child depends on their best interests. The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act says marijuana use should not be used against you when there is a dispute about child custody. Responsible marijuana use is legal in Illinois and does not necessarily affect how a parent decides to raise their child.

However, if medical or recreational marijuana is used irresponsibly, it could be a strike against the parent in family court because it could prevent them from providing care and support to the child. Like all drugs, if you use marijuana when your child is around, it could make you less aware of what is going on. It also is dangerous (and illegal) to drive under the influence of marijuana, which could make the family court judge question if you are a fit parent.

If you have medical or recreational cannabis in the home, you should take care that it is not accessible to the child. Cannabis should be kept in a locked container or room a child cannot access. Also, for the family court to restrict your parenting time, it must determine that a preponderance of the evidence shows that marijuana use endangers the child’s mental, physical, emotional, and moral health.

The Dangers Of Heavy Marijuana Use

Some believe cannabis use eases anxiety, but research finds it can increase the risk for schizophrenia and other psychoses. If you have mental health issues and use marijuana, be aware that modern products are more potent than years ago, which can boost the psychotic effects.

Talk To Our Skokie Child Custody Lawyer

Recreational and medical marijuana use is legal in Illinois, but parents should use caution when using them during a child custody dispute. Some family courts might view its use negatively, so it is wise to be cautious and talk to your attorney for more information. Contact our Skokie child custody lawyer at Gordon & Perlut, LLC, today at (312) 360-0250.