Medical Marijuana and Child Abuse or Neglect Charges

 Posted on March 08,2016 in Drug Crimes

medical marijuana, child concerns, Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneyThe Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, which went into effect in January 2014, has some of the most stringent rules in the country, including requiring more than just a physician’s recommendation the patient be allowed to purchase medical marijuana. The state requires that there be a “bona fide” relationship between the doctor and patient, meaning that assessment and treatment of the medical condition are ongoing. Patients who apply are required to go through a background check conducted by the Illinois State Police and must be fingerprinted – all at their own expense. There are also a limited number of medical conditions which have been approved for the program. Medical marijuana can be ingested in several forms besides smoking including, candies, cookies, flour, lotions, skin patches, and vape juice.

Limitations for Parents

Even with all the strict rules in place, there is still a risk that a person who has been approved for the program could still face serious legal issues, particularly when it concerns parenting and employment. A parent who has been approved for the program is not permitted to smoke marijuana around children who are under the age of 18. According to the Act, as long as the rules are followed, a patient’s use of medical marijuana cannot affect a parent’s custody or visitation rights.

Previous Examples

However, there have been past incidents in the state where a parent’s use of “legal marijuana” has resulted in charges of child abuse and neglect. In one instance, which occurred in 2011, someone filed a complaint against a single mother for smoking synthetic marijuana, which was legal in Illinois at that time, while her child was asleep. The mother was charged and lost custody of the child, even though she passed all of the required DCFS investigation, as well as weekly drug tests. The case was eventually heard by the appellate court, which ruled in the woman’s favor, finding that the drug did not cause the woman to become high or unconscious, or otherwise irrational which would affect her judgment and put the child in danger.

Get Help for Your Case

Any drug conviction can have a negative impact on a person’s parental rights and responsibilities. Decision-making responsibilities may be reduced or terminated, and parenting time can be restricted or completely revoked. If you have been arrested and charged with a drug crime, contact an experienced Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney. Call Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law at 847-253-3400 today.



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