Do Not Let Any Substance Affect Your Role as a Parent
Video Transcribed: My name is Brian L. Jackson, and I am an Oklahoma Fathers Rights Attorney and I want to talk to you today about the marijuana card. I get a lot of questions about this and seems to be coming up more and more. I’d like to talk a little bit about this.
I’ll probably make a follow-up video later talking about this more because it’s an in-depth topic. Today, what I really want to talk about is largely how having your marijuana card might affect your custodial rights and more importantly, what you can do to make sure, to reduce the risk that it negatively impacts your right, your custodial end, or visitation rights to your children.
First and foremost, I’m going to start by saying, if you are going to smoke marijuana in Oklahoma, get your card. It’s not hard. Under state law, you can have one issued for pretty much any reason as long as you have a physician willing to sign off on it. There’s really no good reason not to have it. If you’re going to use marijuana, for crying out loud, get your card. That’s the first thing.
Some other things to think about, like any other prescription medication and particularly a prescription medication that is considered legally a CDS, that is a controlled dangerous substance. Marijuana is still considered a controlled dangerous substance, even though it is legal to use it if you have your card. It is legally still considered a controlled dangerous substance. The first and foremost rule is, you want to make sure that you secure it. In other words, don’t have it out where your kids can get ahold of it.
What is appropriate? What are appropriate measures to secure it? Well, to some extent, that’s going to depend on your children, their age. Older children, you’re probably looking at needing to lock it up. For younger children, it may be sufficient just to keep it where they can’t reach it. I would recommend though, keeping it under lock and key is probably a good idea. My advice to my clients is to keep that locked up. That’s the first thing.
The next thing is, you should be sure that your use of marijuana or cannabis products, whatever form you may use, is not going to impair your ability to care for your children. This isn’t a unique thing to marijuana because it applies to other prescription medications, as well. Judges routinely will take children away from parents if they’re strung out on pills all day.
If you had a prescription for Valium and you take so much Valium that you’re laid out flat on the couch, you’re going to have the same exact problem. Essentially what I’m telling you is, if you’re going to use cannabis products, you need to use them for a medical reason. That’s fine. Don’t get so intoxicated that you can’t take care of your kids. Basically, use it to an extent that you’re still capable of caring for the children.
Along those same lines too, you should not be allowing your children to see you using it or in an obviously impaired state. If the kids are seeing this, they’re liable to report it to somebody. Again, this is another situation that can look really bad for you in your family court case. It could affect your custodial or visitation rights.
Another golden rule, if you’re going to smoke it, don’t smoke it in the presence of your children and don’t smoke it anywhere where they can encounter the smell. In other words, don’t smoke it in your house.
That’s probably a good rule of thumb for smoking in general if you smoke tobacco, whether it’s cigarettes, pipe, cigars. If you have children in the house, for crying out loud, don’t smoke in the house because it’s not healthy and it makes you look bad. Is it going to necessarily mean you get an emergency order or you end up with DHS taking your kids away? No, but it does look bad and it’s one of those things that judges frown on, so don’t do it. Take that and smoke it outside.
Then lastly, and this is probably one of the biggest things I want to point out. Don’t drive under the influence of THC or cannabis products. It is DUI. The fact that you have a prescription, doesn’t mean you can’t get busted for DUI. I’ll go back to the example of Valium.
If you have a prescription for Valium and you take Valium and you’re impaired and you are driving, you are DUI. You get pulled over, you could be arrested. Don’t drive under the influence, and definitely don’t drive under the influence with your children in the car because that could be construed as an emergency.
That could cause a judge to determine that you were unfit if you’re doing that. That’s no different than driving drunk with the kids in the car. You were literally placing them in danger and that criminal behavior, that dangerous behavior could be grounds for you to have your rights to your kids severely curtailed.
Those are some of the golden rules when you’re dealing with cannabis products. I would encourage you, if you have your card if you’re going to be using cannabis products, obviously follow those rules. The other thing is, I would encourage you. Get ahold of us at dads.law and talk to us preemptively so we can give you other advice on how to avoid potential problems in your specific situation because this is just general advice, guys.
There may be specific circumstances that you are dealing with, that may mean you have to take additional steps or there may be other things you need to do or not do. I’d encourage you to go to dads.law, where dads are not disposable.