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Can Marijuana Use Affect a Divorce Case?


As an adult resident of New York State, you’re probably well-aware of New York’s efforts to decriminalize marijuana, especially since there has been a lot of buzz about it in recent years. As of this writing, when someone possesses 28 grams or less of marijuana, it is technically a “violation.” The individual will not go to jail and all they face is a $50 fine.

Possession of marijuana is not a misdemeanor until a person has 2 to 8 ounces of marijuana, and that’s a lot. Only then does a person face misdemeanor charges, up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. So, while the consequences of possessing a small amount of pot for personal use are minor in most cases in New York, that can be a whole different story if someone is going through a divorce.

How Can Marijuana Impact a Divorce Case?

There is no doubt that scientific research has validated the many medicinal uses of marijuana, not to mention the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which stated on their website:

“FDA is committed to encouraging the development of cannabis-related drug products, including CBD. Those interested in cannabis-derived and cannabis-related drug development are encouraged to contact the relevant CDER review division and CDER’s Botanical Review Team (BRT) to answer questions related to their specific drug development program.”

While marijuana awareness and reform continues to evolve, its use is impacting divorce cases, but not necessarily in a positive way. As more (and more) parents use marijuana freely for medical and recreational purposes, divorce attorneys nationwide are seeing how it’s affecting some child custody cases. It’s because marijuana affects judgment, cognitive skills, motor skills, reaction time, and safe driving. Sometimes, it can cause paranoia and lead to emergency room visits and DWI. So, pot and parenting don’t always mix.

Using Marijuana as Ammo in Court

Despite New York decriminalizing marijuana, the family courts can still frown upon a parent’s use of the powerful drug. If parents are locked in a child custody battle, it’s typical for the non-smoking parent to use the marijuana use as ammunition against the parent and for the courts to agree, though that is not absolute.

Whatever side of the fence you’re on about marijuana and its effects on parenting and child custody, we urge you to contact the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC for legal advice and representation.