Being a Medical Marijuana Patient Doesn’t Make You a Bad Parent

As medical marijuana has become legalized in many states, perceptions about its use have been changing. Still, many people cling to old ideals about parenting while treating their medical conditions with marijuana. But does using medical marijuana really make one a bad parent? The answer is, it depends. As the old saying goes, “everything in moderation.” Parents who use medical marijuana as prescribed are often in a better position to be able to parent their children in a healthy way.

For general information about whether medical marijuana (MMJ) is right for you, schedule an exam with one of our Florida Medical Marijuana Doctors. You may complete our eligibility survey in just 5 minutes to find out if you pre-qualify for a recommendation.

Can My Child Be Taken from Me if I Use Medical Marijuana?

Stephanie Smith of CNN covered a story about parents “Shawnee and Aaron” whose last names were not given to protect their privacy. Both have prescriptions for medical marijuana – hers for depression and anxiety and his for anxiety and chronic pain. Officers handcuffed Aaron when they found out about his use of medical marijuana. Shawnee pleaded with them, saying, “I told them we had our cards, our prescriptions. They didn’t want to see them.” Soon CPS arrived and placed their child into foster care. Aaron pleaded with the officers when he said, “Look, you guys, I understand your perception, but we are wonderful parents, hardworking members of our community.” He told the reporter, “They could not conceive of the fact that you can be a wonderful parent, a decent human being, and medicate with marijuana.”

These agencies have long viewed marijuana as a red flag about whether people are fit to be a good parent. Stories like these have played out all across the country, and indeed, still do. Authorities have been fighting a war on drugs for a long time, so they can tend to view marijuana as “an ‘evil’ drug they have to fight against.” Even though marijuana has been legalized in so many states, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance with “no currently accepted medical use in the United States and high potential for abuse.” Therefore, in some states, it is still possible for children to be taken into custody, or worse, permanently removed [1]. In addition, marijuana use, medical or otherwise, can complicate custody disputes because it can be used as leverage in court [2]. “If it’s a really bitter divorce or separation, you may see one party that’s the non-marijuana user call Child Protective Services, or at the very least threaten to,” explains Nicholas Dowgul, a North Carolina-based divorce attorney” [3].

But Does It Make Me A Bad Parent?

Moms for Marijuana International seem to think not. This activist group of moms are supporting cannabis-consuming parents, making it their mission to combat Child Protection Services about incidences where children are needlessly taken from their families over medical marijuana use. “Immediate harm is required by law to remove a child from his or her home. The science and toxicology of cannabis have proven that cannabis is NOT harmful. But surely, ripping families apart is,” states a post submitted to Ladybud Magazine, a publication with “a focus on activism specific to Drug War reform and other socially progressive issues.” Moms for Marijuana aims to “spread awareness, increase and promote education, and create educated discussion within our local communities that is based upon scientific evidence, critical thinking, and logic.” With 70% of the U.S. population voting to legalize medical marijuana, it is safe to say that most people do not believe using medical marijuana will make someone a bad parent [4]. 

Medical Marijuana Can Make Someone A Good Parent

Instead of asking whether medical marijuana can make someone a bad parent, it stands to reason the real question should be, “How can medical marijuana make someone a good parent?” Many believe using cannabis is no different than having a few cocktails, and more parents are advocating for the idea that medical marijuana does make them better parents. While most are unable to accept the idea that using marijuana in front of their kids is okay, it is becoming as common as drinking alcohol in front of them. Legalization in many states is helping people to feel more relaxed about their use of cannabis. One Colorado based mother told the “Colorado Pot Guide,” “I was on prescription medications for years after my kids were born to just help me sleep, and my doctor wanted to prescribe additional medications to help my anxiety. I researched tons of alternatives and finally landed on cannabis. I have found that an edible or two in the evening helps my brain chill, my body relax, and even relieves my aches from being active all day. I sleep better and it has helped me to be a calmer mom to my boys” [4]. In an interview with “CPG,” another mother testified, “When I start getting frustrated or overwhelmed, I smoke pot as a reset button. When I get upset and snappy, we both need a break. She does her thing while I step away and smoke.” This parental timeout allows her to be a “more present parent,” she added” [4]. Medical marijuana can relieve stress and anxiety, even that which is related to parenting, but be sure to check local laws before becoming too comfortable about using it in front of children [4].

Is Medical Marijuana Right for Me?

Whether medical marijuana will help your condition depends on many factors best evaluated by a medical doctor. If you feel you may benefit from medical marijuana, the first step is to take our eligibility survey. In just 5 minutes, you could pre-qualify for a recommendation. A Florida Medical Marijuana Doctor can then determine if you qualify during an in-person exam. For more information, visit https://docmj.com.

  1. https://www.cnn.com/2014/03/12/health/medical-marijuana-parents/index.html
  2. https://www.itsovereasy.com/insights/can-i-lose-child-custody-for-smoking-weed
  3. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/moms-for-marijuana-parents-rally_n_4158606
  4. https://www.fatherly.com/love-money/can-parents-lose-custody-over-marijuana-use-california/
  1. https://www.fatherly.com/love-money/can-parents-lose-custody-over-marijuana-use-california/