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Should Medical Marijuana Users Lose Custody of Kids?

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A story from the AP today -- "Medical Pot Can Cost Parents in Custody Disputes" -- caught our attention.

medical marijuana

It featured Washington state dad Nicholas Pouch, who lost custody of his kids, ages 9 and 11, because he's a medical marijuana patient. His kids aren't allowed to set foot on his farm. He only sees his boys twice a month, during supervised visits at a neutral house in Olympia, Washington.

Pouch said that he uses medical marijuana to treat pain from carpal tunnel syndrome and a shoulder injury.

Julian Robinson, another dad featured in the piece, feels Pouch's pain. A judge ordered him to keep at least a quarter of a mile away from his stepchildren because of his medical marijuana use -- even though the kids live under his roof and he has raised them for the past 13 years. Now he's forced to live elsewhere.

"It has torn my family apart," Robinson said. "We used to do everything together."

Do you think that medical marijuana patients should lose custody?

143 comments so far | Post a comment now
Peggy Brister June 21, 2010, 1:59 PM

I think someone using medical marijuana to deal with carpal tunnel syndrome is just someone who wants to smoke pot and get away with it. There are pain pills for pain. I smoked pot as a teen and young adult. It’s not a pain killer. Originally the pot was suppose to be used for cancer patients because it increases your appetite and would make them be able to eat and not waste away and get unhealthily skinny. The numerous and bogus uses that ppl use it for now it’s just a joke. Unless you are dying from cancer you should not be using medical marijuana in my opinion. SO if he chooses to smoke pot, especially around his kids, then yes the kids should not be around him. If getting high is more important to the man than his kids, he doesn’t need to be around them.

Regis June 21, 2010, 2:04 PM

What nonsense Peggy writes! So a man who gets drunk around his kids legally and is allowed to keep them is somehow better than a man who smokes marijuana (also legally, since it is medical marijuana)? In my opinion, marijuana smokers are actually more in tune with their kids, with their surroundings, and are better parents if society would just leave them alone than the hyped up soccer moms and religious nuts we have posing as super-parents…

chris June 21, 2010, 2:36 PM

I agree with Peggy. I’ve done my share of smoking pot over the years in my youth and no it is not for pain. Sorry, my if this guy and his doctor used this phony excuse to let this guy smoke pot legally, then his doctor should be looked at also. I’m all for medical use of marijuana but it seems like all you have to do is stub your toe and you’ll can get a prescribtion now days. I think all doctors should be looked at for how the over prescribe all medicine.
Almost everyone I know is either on anti-anxiety or depression pills. It’s crazy how over medicated our society is.

Nick Dixey June 21, 2010, 2:37 PM

HERE HERE REGIS!!! Peggy isn’t a bad person however, she’s simply misinformed and lazy. If she wasn’t, than she’d open a book or log onto the internet and do the research about this issue. Peggy, if you’re reading this, just do a search for harmful effects of cannabis and you’ll see what I mean. Eventually it will be more and more prevalent in her life, whether she likes it or not. One day she might find out exactly why she is so terribly wrong in this instance, but we can only hope. Also, I think it HIGHLY presumptuous of her to assume that Nick Pouch (the dad in the story) smokes his cannabis around his children. Nowhere in that report was it stated that he uses his hemp near his kids. And don’t forget that there are millions of single parents who are addicted to opiate based drugs, obtaining them legally through prescriptions, and yet they’re still allowed to keep their kids. Personally, I would rather have a pothead watching my boys than a morphine addict, at least I know they’ll get their snacks! Education is the only thing that will help these people,like Peggy, out of the dark ages of prohibition and maybe even allow them to accept something more than what Uncle Sam has force fed them. For more on that, search for US Soldiers producing heroin in Afghanistan and you’ll see what I mean. Oh well, we can only hope.

Maria June 21, 2010, 2:53 PM


Peggy you are one out of touch human. Both you and chris should proof your comments.

Arisma June 21, 2010, 3:07 PM

This is absolutely ridiculous, as are some of the comments above. If I had to choose to send my child into a room with ten drunk people or a hundred stoners, I would choose the stoners every time. It astonishes me that people are ignorant enough to think marijuana is so horrible, or that their singular experiences outweigh tons of scientific evidence. Why would ANYONG advocate something from a test tube over something grown in the ground?

Amber June 21, 2010, 3:47 PM

I think its absurd for a parent to lose their rights over medical marijuana! Do parents who use narcotic pain or anxiety medication deserve to have their children taken away? How about parents that drink alcohol? I believe all of these things intoxicate people and pain pills, xanax, & alcohol can be more harmful than marijuana! Also who are any of us to judge why someone else is being prescribed medication, whatever that medication is? Everyone is entitled to their option but please don’t judge because of ignorance.

TYC June 21, 2010, 3:55 PM

I’ll never understand why some people think that cannabis is the devil’s lettuce. I know people that really believe ‘two puffs and you’re a heroin addict for life’. No amount of evidence will cause them to think otherwise. Look at the negative responses here. Assumptions that people are only using to get high and therefore deserve every evil that society can hoist upon them. But would the prohibitionist apply the same logic to alcohol? No, never. I really don’t understand why alcohol gets a free pass but something safer…well, that’s the ‘Assassin of Youth’ and users need to be shot on sight.

If my child got into trouble with marijuana, I would not want the full weight of law enforcement saddling them for life with a criminal record. That’s wrong any way you look at it.

The prohibitionist will often say that they smoked pot in their youth but would like for you to lose your kids if you do the same…or maybe do some serious jail time to send a message to ‘our youth’. So much for consistency in the logic of a prohibitionist. Their intoxication = OK. Your intoxication = take your children, your car, your house, and your freedom. Sadly, most prohibitionists claim to be for individual freedom … except when you do something they don’t like or don’t look like them.

Dragon Chewer June 21, 2010, 4:14 PM

Here is a simple way to solve the problem. Leave both a bottle of pills and a bottle of cannabis out, see which one kills the children after accidental consumption, that should help us determine what we should really be protecting our children from.

Dragon Chewer June 21, 2010, 4:26 PM

I obviously DON”T REALLY mean this in reality, As responsible parents it’s important to protect our children from anything that can be potentially fatal. I simply want to illustrate the point that over the counter meds can kill, whereas Cannabis can’t.

Dragon Chewer June 21, 2010, 4:27 PM

I obviously DON”T REALLY mean this in reality, As responsible parents it’s important to protect our children from anything that can be potentially fatal. I simply want to illustrate the point that over the counter meds can kill, whereas Cannabis can’t.

Lynn June 21, 2010, 4:37 PM

Let’s assume that these dads do have pain and they think marijuana is treating it. They do have other options than marijuana for pain. I have pain similar to carpel tunnel and I don’t take medications for it, so the medication is not truly necessary. He clearly prefers marijuana to being a full-time dad. If he loved his kids more than marijuana he’d stop the marijuana to be with them. A dad who drinks every day may lose custody as well.

doug June 21, 2010, 4:44 PM

Parents shouldn’t lose custody of their children for smoking marijuana for any reason. Marijuana is harmless.

DGAF June 21, 2010, 7:36 PM

Ok first off, to the people saying they smoked pot and it is not for pain, just because YOU didn’t use it for pain doesnt mean it doesnt help people who are in pain. Sure people want to use it recreationally and it should be 100% legal. I know first hand that it relieves pain, I have had chronic headaches from a very young age, not just your normal run of the mill headaches either, extreme headaches. It is the only thing I ever found the helped them. But either way, marijuana is 1000 times safer than alcohol and I’m a guy who likes his alcohol to, but it doesn’t take a scientist to see which is safer. Marijuana use is here to stay the failed drug war and prohibition isn’t stopping anything. A large portion of our population uses marijuana and will continue to use it. Why not legalize it and bring in tax revenue to fund things like our education system that is going flat broke right now. Get a grip people and do your research before spittin out BS. Stop feeding into the governments corrupt prohibtion.

Christina June 21, 2010, 7:37 PM

Lynn - “pain similar to carpal tunnel”? What, exactly, pray tell, would that be? The pain from carpal tunnel varies quite a bit from person to person, and is not always successfully mitigated via surgery, so your quite manageable pain has absolutely no relationship to or bearing upon the pain another person is experiencing. Personally, I will take a slightly baked dad over an alcoholic dad any day. As my step-father was an actual (as opposed to a “similar to”) alcoholic, I know whereof I speak.

Micheal June 21, 2010, 7:38 PM

I think there has to be something else about the story that is not being told

Michael Feehan June 21, 2010, 8:15 PM

Wow.. peggy you are very ignorant. Like it was said.. its ok for a man to drink and get drunk. Or patients to use pain pills, some suffer from addiction to the pills and suffer horrible withdrawls from medications. Some strains of Marijuana do not supress pain, they do not deliver a therepudic response in the body. Some however do.. mostly your strains with high indica.

CB June 21, 2010, 8:21 PM

That is such BS needing pot for that. If it said that the person was in stage 4 cancer and there was no treatment, then maybe, but if that were the case, those kids would need someone who could care for them anyway. Plus, there is no way anyone who is stoned should drive around kids, or smoke pot around them-hello-contact high. What a horrid example of parenting.

Uhprentis June 21, 2010, 8:49 PM

And CB goes and one ups Peggy and Chris with more presumption and ignorance. So…marijuanna is only OK if you’ve got stage 4 cancer and there’s no treatment. Great attitude…makes me wish the Internet had an ignore button.

chris simmons June 21, 2010, 8:51 PM

what’s the judges name?

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