As marijuana increases in becoming legalized in various states, it is having negative effects on child custody laws.

There have been a few cases recently that have involved whether children were considered safe in the homes of parents that were legally using marijuana. These included a father in Colorado who lost custody of his daughter once he received a medical marijuana card.  Another case includes a couple that was growing legal medicinal pot and had their child taken away by child protection authorities.

Marijuana in Arizona Custody Laws

While marijuana is still illegal in the federal law, many states have made marijuana legal. However, it can still be seen as being unsafe for a child’s environment.  Marijuana has also been seen as partly abuse of a child.

In Colorado, marijuana has been treated like heroin when it comes to children’s welfare.  It can’t be legally present when there are children in living in the house. There are many advocates for change but for now, it remains with the courts to decide about individual cases if a child is endangered when pot is in the home.

Arizona Custody Laws

Medicinal marijuana use is legal in Arizona but when it comes to child custody, the laws are just as unclear in Arizona as in Colorado. Under ARS 36-2813, no one can be discriminated against to be denied custody or visitation of a child unless it is clear that there is unreasonable danger to the safety of the child.

Thus, it could be argued that medicinal marijuana card holders have parental rights to child custody. But under ARS 8-533, the termination of a parent’s custody rights can occur if there is abuse of controlled substances and the environment is deemed unsafe for the child.


Call the Family Law Team at (480) 467-4348 to discuss your case today.

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