Washington Man Loses Custody Of Children Over Medical Pot Use

Posted on Jul 10, 2010
Did you know that your Washington State child custody case could suffer just because you take a prescribed drug for medical reasons? Unfortunately, when the drug you are taking is medical marijuana, you can lose child visitation rights even though you aren’t breaking the law.

This very thing happened to Washington State resident Nicholas Pouch, who can’t have his children visit his idyllic 20-acre farm in Matlock. The reason? His ex-wife brought up his medical marijuana past with their child custody judge. Now, even though he was never charged as a criminal, Pouch only sees his children twice a month, supervised and in a neutral location.

Even though Washington laws say that medical marijuana users should not be penalized “or denied any right or privilege,” many are facing tough critics when it comes to child custody and child visitation cases. Some say that the decisions are correct, and that children should not be exposed to pot smoking, but others say that medical marijuana shouldn’t be seen as different from other prescription drugs.

Many judges wonder a parent who is under the influence of marijuana is capable of safely parenting a child, though others bring up parents who watch children even while on powerful painkillers. However, marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

At this point, Washington judges are coming to different decisions regarding the matter – while one judge as awarded visitation rights as long as another adult is present, another ruled that a father can’t be within a quarter-mile of his sons, despite his otherwise acceptable past as a caring father.
Molly B. Kenny's Bellevue family law office is conveniently located on Lake Bellevue Drive, making it easily accessible to those in the greater Seattle area. Our divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they need.
Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny