Are Child Protective Services Changing Their Minds About Cannabis Consumption in Families? – News

The judge ultimately ruled that both her parents could remain her legal guardians and administer cannabis to her; however, the questions raised by the case still aren’t null in Texas, nor anywhere else. “

In Kara’s case, despite marijuana’s grey area legal status, her cannabis treatment wasn’t enough to disqualify guardianship. For Kara, the court accepted her parents’ claim that cannabis was a last resort. “I think the line we see a lot of is [whether] there’s a legitimate therapeutic need; is there some kind of expert support; is the [cannabis] use consistent with the therapeutic need; are they just using THC and CBD, or just CBD?”

These questions apply both to children and parents whose cannabis use may be called into question by CPS. In places like Colorado, cannabis is regarded similarly to alcohol: For example, in a scenario where a new mother would be drug tested in the delivery room, authorities wouldn’t only look out for THC, but also alcohol and other drugs says Witkus. “It’s not an automatic thing that happens just because of cannabis use, but if you had somebody that had a clear substance abuse problem with cannabis and wasn’t willing to get sober, they could see substantial consequences in terms of parenting,” she says. “Maybe not losing their kids, but having restricted parenting time, supervised parenting time, or substance use monitoring requirements to get back to seeing their kids. “This, of course, can be a rather subjective determination, and the threat associated with parents being persecuted by CPS for cannabis use is largely a function of several mitigating factors, including the legal status of cannabis in the given state, the circumstances under which the parent was found to be using cannabis, and unfortunately, the personal bias of the social worker against the use of cannabis,” he says. “Ultimately, it is up to the parents to use cannabis in a time, place, and manner that is responsible and responsive to their responsibilities to their children. “

Not only is the issue of CPS involvement with regard to parent or child cannabis use ambiguous and subjective, it also changes from state to state. Pdf” target=” blank”>grades each state by its cannabis program, with “parental rights” as a 10-point category. “

Most commonly, CPS gets involved because a friend or family member tips off CPS about a parent’s cannabis use, and typically these cases revolve around parents who don’t have medical recommendations to qualify their use, explains Mangone. “

The supposed inherent danger from exposing a child to cannabis derives from prohibitionist arguments that it could lead to cognitive decline, psychosis, anxiety, or depression, Mangone says. One woman who vaporizes cannabis in front of her children, and used it for postpartum depression, was able to also convince CPS that her children were nonetheless safe. CPS didn’t seem so concerned that she was using cannabis as they were that she was smoking it in front of her children; her kids however, verified that when Mommy smoked joints, she did so outside and out of sight. Her children fully understood that their mother used cannabis specifically for medical reasons.

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