Cutter & Lax, Attorneys at Law Articles Appellate Court Rules In Favor Of Pot-Smoking Father

Appellate Court Rules In Favor Of Pot-Smoking Father

By Cutter & Lax, Attorneys at Law  Dec. 17, 2012 12:43p

Medical Marijuana Using Father Has Decision Overturned

After the Loa Angeles Superior Court ruled to remove a young son from his father's custody due to his usage of medical marijuana, the man appealed the decision to the 2nd Appellate District California Court of Appeals. The court found in favor of the father, arguing that there is a legal difference between "substance use" and "substance abuse."

According to court documents relating to the case, the father is a patient who has been prescribed medical marijuana to treat chronic knee pain. As per state laws, the usage of marijuana for medically approved purposes is not considered illegal. In a child custody case that was brought before the Superior Court of Los Angeles, however, his pot smoking was used against him to have the young son removed from his father's custody.

During the trial the man testified that he never smokes in front of the boy, nor does he ever become intoxicated while taking care of the child. After hearing the evidence, the Superior Court issued a decision against the man, arguing that his regular usage of medical marijuana "placed the child at substantial risk of serious physical harm or illness." During narcotics screening, the man tested positive for marijuana use, but never for any other drug.

Appealing the decision to a higher court, the attorney representing the man argued that the ruling was not consistent with state laws regarding legal marijuana usage. After hearing the case, the Appellate Court agreed with this interpretation. In their decision, they claimed that the Superior Court "apparently confused the meanings of the terms 'substance use' and 'substance abuse,'" arguing that medically prescribed smoking did not automatically pose a threat to a child's well being.

The ruling has incited Californians on both sides of the issue, with critics arguing that it opens the door for addicts to retain custody of their children. A spokesperson for NORML, a group dedicated to advancing the cause of legal marijuana, claims that the decision is the first step in recognizing the rights of marijuana smokers across the state.

A Child Custody Attorney Is In Your Corner In San Fernando

If you are facing a legal battle for the custody of your child, it is imperative that you contact a professional with courtroom experience right away! At the Law Office of Cutter & Lax, our legal team has the skill necessary to protect your rights and seek the best outcome for you and your family. Please, do not hesitate to contact our firm or visit our website at to learn more about the options available to you.

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