An article from the Seattle Times recently reported that parents are losing custody of their children for using medicinal marijuana.
While those laws can protect patients from criminal charges, they typically haven't prevented judges, court commissioners or guardians ad litem from considering a parent's marijuana use in custody matters - even in states such as Washington, where complying patients "shall not be penalized in any manner, or denied any right or privilege," according to the law.It seems to me that this is yet another case of able bodied people telling individuals who are chronically ill how to handles our illnesses. It is probably safe to assume that most people sitting in judgment consume alcohol. They refuse to acknowledge their own drug use, but then have the nerve to complain about marijuana use to manage and improve ones quality of life. I further fail to see how a child benefits from not seeing their parent.
Arbiters often side with parents who try to keep their children away from pot. Medical marijuana activists in several states, including Washington, California and Colorado, say they've been getting more inquiries from patients wrapped up in custody-divorce cases in recent years as the ranks of patients who use marijuana swell.
Lauren Payne, legal services coordinator with a California marijuana law reform group called Americans for Safe Access, said that since mid-2006 her organization has received calls about 61 such cases.
Early this year, a judge who called Washington's medical marijuana law "an absolute joke" and "an excuse to be loaded all the time" ordered that stepfather, Julian Robinson, to keep at least a quarter-mile from the teenagers because of his marijuana use, according to a transcript of the hearing.
The best interest of the child, is often used as an excuse to engage in outright discrimination. This is about control and telling people how to manage their illnesses, and not because the courts are overwhelmed with a desire to ensure that children are not harmed by medicinal pot users. Pot is illegal because of politics, and not because it is inherently more harmful than alcohol which btw is the first drug that most people try.
This is nothing more than an attempt to legally enforce the "super crip" mentality. When you force a person to make the choice of either living with pain or seeing their children, essentially you are telling them how to manage their illness.No matter how many times it is said, so many refuse to understand that there is a difference between taking a drug to mask pain and taking it for the purposes of getting high. What people feel when they use marijuana or in fact any other narcotic is relief, if they are using said drug to negotiate an illness.
Pain is not something that is readily visible and that is a large part of the reason those in positions of authority refuse to validate it. Pain cannot be measured and the ability to tolerate it varies by individual. This is further complicated by the historic desire of TAB people to act as gatekeepers of PWD. I live with chronic pain everyday due to fibromyalgia and sarcoidosis -- and I can tell you that I am much easier to be around when it is reduced through medicinal interventions. The idea that PWD should walk around in pain because others use the same medicine to fuel their addictions (note: this is also a form of illness) is ridiculous.
It is not in the best interest of the child to be deprived access to their parent. It is not in the best interest of the child to know that said parent is purposefully living with pain in order to see them. This is destroying families because of bigotry, and outright disableism. Until you are in a position where pain is a constant, you have no right sitting in judgment of how someone deals with their pain.