This could be understandable in many situations, but what about those who are legally permitted to do so?
It is a sticky situation (no pun intended). On one hand, when marijuana does lead to neglect of a child, there should absolutely be a mechanism in place for that child’s safety. At the same time, it is unreasonable to assume that every person using marijuana is innately a bad parent.
This seems to be the approach of some agencies, though, even when a legal right to smoke marijuana for medical purposes has been granted. It is a loophole; permission should not be given if it gives the government to remove custody of a child at any moment.
As far as research is concerned, there does seem to be a relationship between physical abuse of medical marijuana users on their children. Even if the relationship does exist, is it appropriate to punish all users as if they are an immanent threat to their children? Of course not—but that does not mean it does not happen.
That said, because medical marijuana can be prescribed for ailments that have no visible physical impact on the body, it leaves the door open for a lot of abuse. Just because someone has been prescribed a medical marijuana card does not mean that person is immune from abusing the substance.
Admittedly, it is a hard spot, and one with no real answer. While we have seen people suffer from marijuana addiction, many people in society believe that such a condition cannot exist. It can; we see it all the time. Like alcohol use, though, not everyone who partakes is going to be an alcoholic.
Speaking of which, a history of neglect and alcoholism is usually necessary to take custody of the child. Not so with marijuana and parenting, though. All it takes is the as-of-now hypocritical legislation, with the state giving the go-ahead, but federal law superseding that decision and saying no—even though the decision makers at the highest levels of federal government are taking a more relaxed approach.
All the while, an otherwise unidentified or unstated truth ultimately exists: with the knowledge that children can be taken away if using marijuana, do responsible, non-addicted parents take that risk? Again, there is no right or wrong answer, but it should give pause to those who might otherwise think medical marijuana is the panacea so many claim it to be.
Sure, in some circumstances, there may be no other practical option, and they must make taking marijuana and parenting part of their lifestyle. For the majority, though, other treatment options exist. While it may be unfair and disappointing that it is not an option, those without a predisposition to addiction would find the choice between marijuana and parenting a pretty easy one to make.
Marijuana and Parenting
What do you think? Can marijuana and parenting coexist? Let us know in the comments!