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By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about how states across the nation have been decriminalizing marijuana possession for personal use. While some states like California, Nevada, and Colorado have dramatically eased up on their marijuana laws, some states like Florida, Texas, and Arizona are still pretty harsh. Then, there are states like Pennsylvania that are somewhere in between.

In Pennsylvania, it’s still illegal to possess recreational marijuana. If you’re caught with 30 grams or less, you’ll face misdemeanor charges, up to 30 days in jail, and a $500 fine. But what if someone is using marijuana strictly for medical purposes?

On April 6, 2016, Governor Wolfe legalized medical marijuana, and on February 15, 2018, patients in Pennsylvania could obtain medical marijuana from dispensaries. Many proponents of medical marijuana strongly feel the opening of dispensaries for patients was long-overdue, and they celebrated their arrival. Both legal and illegal marijuana, however, is having an impact on family law cases. Read on to learn how.

Marijuana is Impacting Family Law Cases

Some people support marijuana while others do not. Even though medical marijuana is legal in Pennsylvania, parents who partake can still have it used against them in a family law case, especially when it involves child custody.

For example, if a couple is divorcing and they’re arguing over the husband’s pot-smoking, the wife could tell the judge that the marijuana is having a negative impact on her husband.

She could tell the judge that he’s wasting hundreds of dollars a month on the drug. She could complain that he’s driving under the influence with their kids in the car and that it’s affecting his parenting abilities, especially when the marijuana makes him sleep a lot when he’s watching the kids.

Since judges have been wired for decades to see drug use in a negative light, it’s not uncommon for them to frown upon parents who use marijuana, even if it’s in the form of medical marijuana. Even though medical marijuana is legal, that doesn’t necessarily change how it can impact someone’s parenting abilities.

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