lighting up a cigarette in the dark

Is Smoking Medical Marijuana Child Abuse?

Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. Jan. 28, 2020

Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program gives you access to marijuana if you have specific medical conditions that warrant the use of the drug. While some view the lifting of the ban as progress, others view potential problems that exist as a result of widespread use. Furthermore, some factors complicate the social and legal issues associated with marijuana consumption. Examples of these factors include:

  • Custody battles

  • The legitimacy of medical marijuana

  • The potential for child abuse

  • The fact that recreational marijuana is still illegal in the state of Pennsylvania

Let’s take a closer look at some of the issues as well as legal services that may help clients who are involved in marijuana-related cases.

Is the Legalization of Medical Marijuana Progress?

The medical field has long documented the therapeutic benefits of smoking marijuana. As such, the legalization of medical marijuana may be viewed as progress. Beyond that, however, people are sharply divided on the issue.

Supporters of medical marijuana feel that it is a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes or vaping. Critics say that it leads to a wide range of problems such as smoking marijuana recreationally, possible child abuse, or getting in trouble with the law.

Is Medical Marijuana Real Marijuana?

Anyone who is medically approved to use medical marijuana can purchase it at a local medical dispensary in Pennsylvania. However, the product they purchase is often an oil extract that does not contain the THC strain – even if it comes from the marijuana plant.

This can lead to an obvious problem: someone who is approved for medical marijuana may still seek marijuana from a dealer instead of purchasing it from a dispensary. Smoking marijuana from a dealer is still illegal in Pennsylvania. As a result, a person seeking an alternative to a dispensary product may face legal problems regardless of their medical condition.

Is Smoking Medical Marijuana Around Children a Form of Child Abuse?

As marijuana consumption increases in Pennsylvania, there is a growing concern that children of users could be affected by second-hand smoke. As with cigarettes, children who are present when adults smoke marijuana are exposed to the smoke; thus, the effects of the smoke.

The question that lawmakers, child advocacy agencies, and judges have to address is whether exposing children to marijuana smoke is a form of child abuse. Those who feel that it is argued that parents are engaging in per se child abuse. This argument carries with it several legal implications such as:

  • A parent smoking marijuana could be charged with both illegal possession and child abuse.

  • A parent smoking in the home could lose their child if the court rules that their action were abusive to the child.

  • In a child custody battle, a parent that smokes marijuana could lose their custody rights if an attorney establishes that their behavior endangers the child.

Criminal Defense Considerations

If you are charged with marijuana possession or child abuse in Pennsylvania, then you may want to explore your rights and legal options. These types of legal charges can affect your family relationships, career, livelihood, and other areas of your life. A criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania can discuss the facts of the case, go over your legal options, and help you develop a legal strategy to reduce or eliminate your charges.

Having a legal team on your side can keep you from falling victim to false child abuse charges or drug use charges. Without a lawyer on your side, you are at the mercy of the state, which may not grant you any leniency for a perceived crime.

Family Law Consideration

Parents involved in a child custody case often consider the well-being of their child, as well as their desire in caring for the child. For this reason, a child custody case can turn into a brutal legal battle that can drag on for several months. Marijuana use can complicate a custody case even further, as one parent will use marijuana use as leverage against the other parent.

A divorce attorney can represent a parent who is being accused of child negligence or abuse as a result of smoking marijuana. A lawyer understands how to protect the rights of both the parent and the child when the other party is acting unjustly.

Contact Allegheny Attorneys at Law for Legal Services in Allegheny County, PA

If you’ve been charged with a crime or caught up in a child custody dispute in Pittsburgh, or the surrounding area, contact Allegheny Attorneys at law. We offer comprehensive legal services in a wide range of cases. Call us at 412-426-3321 for a free case assessment.