During the 2012 election, Colorado voters made the decision to legalize recreational marijuana use. Since that time, state officials have been trying to decide the exact legal ramifications of this move, particularly since it is still illegal on a federal level. Because this is still a murky legal issue, it's not out of the question that it could have implications in the arena of family law.
Federal officials have yet to announce how they will approach the conflict between state and federal marijuana statutes. However, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently indicated that the effect of the drug on children will be a factor in whatever the Department of Justice decides.
Knowing that children are being included in forthcoming decisions about legal marijuana use, some observers may be wondering: How will this issue impact child custody decisions?
While there may not be any specific law that addresses marijuana use as it relates to current state law and custody arrangements, it's still important to keep the "best interests" standard in mind. Just as any sort of habit, such as excessive drinking or smoking tobacco, may be factored into a child custody decision, the same might be said for pot smoking.
As the future of Colorado's marijuana laws remain unclear, it may be helpful to gain some insight into the family law implications by consulting with a trustworthy attorney. By doing so, an individual can get a better idea of how his or her ability to gain custody or visitation could be impacted by certain behaviors.
Whatever the case, child custody arrangements should be made to provide an environment in which the kid in question has the best chance of thriving.
Source: Associated Press, "Holder: Marijuana's effect on children a factor," Frederic J. Frommer, April 18, 2013
Our firm has experience handling the complexities of family law issues. To find out more about the ideas discussed in this post, please visit our Denver child custody page.