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Medical marijuana at center of child custody battle

Nevada parents understand the importance of spending time bonding with and caring for a new baby. The first year of a child’s life is full of changes and developmental milestones, and is both exciting and stressful for new parents. For one family, the loss of their child custody rights has led to the removal of their six-month-old daughter, and the beginning of a custody battle that is likely to continue making headlines.

The couple are both medical marijuana patients. In addition, they grow an unspecified volume of marijuana, although there is no report of whether the plants are grown for personal or commercial use. Their use of the substance is the base of an investigation by the local department of Child Protective Services, which led to the decision to remove the baby from their home and place her in the care of a foster family.

The parents are fighting to regain their child custody rights. They assert that their daughter has never been exposed to marijuana, and that she is not in danger by being in their home or care. In a recent hearing, they were granted unlimited visitation with her, for which they are grateful. This decision may help ease their daily levels of stress and anxiety as they continue to fight to bring their daughter home.

Use of marijuana, for both medical and recreational purposes, has been a hot topic across the nation as states struggle to determine how they wish to address the issue. It is not unusual for the court system to lag behind changes in law, and this case may be an example of a family court failing to recognize that proper and responsible use of medical marijuana is possible, even when a young child shares the same home. As the child custody case moves through the legal process, parents in Nevada will continue to follow the developments.

Source:, Medical Marijuana Caregiver Parents Denied Custody of Child, Joe Khalil, Sept. 20, 2013

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