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Parents lose custody of daughter for legally using marijuana

According to reports, even though the parents of a 6-month-old baby were legally authorized to use marijuana for medical purposes under Michigan's Medical Marijuana law, Child Protective Service workers removed the couple's daughter from their home.

The father has epilepsy, and the mother of the 6-month-old is licensed caregiver. The couple has a legal right to have marijuana. However, the referee who presided over the couple's case noted that the parents were subjecting their baby to immediate danger, such as break-ins and armed robbery, due to the use and presence of marijuana in the house.

CPS petitioned to remove the child from their home and succeeded. A Department of Human Services spokesperson noted that the agency is charged with the safety and well-being of children, and choices parents make can impact their child. In this case, the state contends that it was trying to protect the child.

Presently, the 6-month-old girl is with her grandmother. Even though the parents disagree with CPS's decision to remove their daughter, they concede it is better for their daughter to be with her grandmother than with strangers.

In general, CPS is charged with the task of protecting children from abuse, and is responsible for investigating allegations of child neglect and abuse. Where CPS believes that a child may be harmed or likely to suffer neglect, in the best interest of the child, CPS workers can remove a child from a home.

However, the conflict between the state's Medical Marijuana law and parental rights likely has many Michigan parents wondering if authorities can remove their children from their homes for legally having marijuana. For anyone who has questions about complicated child custody issues, like this, they should contact an experienced family law attorney to understand one's legal rights and options.

Source: Mlive, "Tim Skubick: Michigan removes child from medical marijuana home; who's right?," Tim Skubick, Sept. 22, 2013

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