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Marijuana, Custody & Parenting Time

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

Marijuana or Marihuana addiction or use was always a factor that determined the issue of custody and parenting time. Users were often penalized by orders of supervised parenting time and just the use of marijuana was enough to impair a reasonable parenting time order. Mothers and fathers lost parental rights for the use of marijuana.

Now that social use marijuana is legal, a new view has become the law. We now have statutes such as the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA), MCL 333.26421, which states:

“A person shall not be denied custody or visitation of a minor for acting in accordance with this act, unless the person’s behavior is such that it creates an unreasonable danger to the minor that can be clearly articulated and substantiated.” MCL 333.26424(d).

There is a presumption that a qualifying patient or primary caregiver is engaged in the medical use of marijuana in accordance with this act if the qualifying patient or caregiver complies with both of the following:

1. Is in possession of a registry identification card.

2. Is in possession of an amount of marijuana that does not exceed the amount allowed under this act. The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that conduct related to marijuana was not for the purpose of alleviating the qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating condition, in accordance with this act.

This presumption shifts the burden of going forward in trial to the proponent that the marijuana use is injurious to a child.

In a Court of Appeals case decided on July 19, 2019, in the published case, of In re S.R. Richardson, Minor (Case #346903 & 346904), the Court said proving that a parent is addicted to marijuana is not enough to effect a parent’s right to parenting a child. The Court must find that the use of the drug by the parent user seriously affects the ability of the parent to parent. There must be some actual risk of harm to the children.

If you're facing issues with Marijuana, Custody or Parenting Time, call us today at 269-381-4471.


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