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Melissa A. Featherston

Father loses child custody over use of medical marijuana

Missouri readers will take note of an interesting case involving a former U.S. veteran and this current custody battle. Just recently, this father and his wife lost child custody of five of their children due to use of medical marijuana for treatment of his PTSD and chronic pain. He currently has a prescription for medical cannabis in a state where it is legal and was preparing to move to that state when the kids were taken. 

This mother and father had resided in a state where the use of medical marijuana is not legal. The children were taken into protective services because it was reported that they were endangered and at risk of exposure or consumption of cannabis. At the time, the family was preparing to move to a state, and have since done so, where medical marijuana is legal in order to use it freely and grow it for other veterans.

Cases involving medical marijuana use are extremely complex, and many of the parents in question have reasonable, medical reasons for the consumption of cannabis. Many of the concerns regarding children and parents who use medical marijuana are said to be unfounded, with science not backing many specific complaints, such as the potential of a contact high. Authorities have said that there were other issues involved in this case besides medical marijuana, but it does raise interesting questions for interstate custody cases. 

Extremely complex child custody cases should only be navigated with the help of an experienced attorney. Missouri parents have the right to take whatever legal steps are necessary to protect their parental rights. A case evaluation will provide a complete assessment of the situation, as well as a full explanation of a parent's options.

Source: theguardian.com, "US veteran's children taken away over his use of medical marijuana", Josiah Hesse, Feb. 1, 2016

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