In November 2012, Colorado became the first state to legalize marijuana
for recreational use. Adults age 21 or older within the state are now
permitted to grow, use, and possess up to one ounce of marijuana in a
manner similar to alcohol without criminal consequences. While cannabis
has been decriminalized in most circumstances throughout the state, this
does not mean that child protective services will not investigate a person’s
home if a neighbor or other individual reports them as a pot-smoking parent.
The legalization of marijuana has made child safety a major concern for
legislators, child welfare agencies and other advocates. Any intoxicant
used by a parent must be used responsibly with a child’s wellbeing
as a top priority. Exactly like alcohol, a parent cannot abuse marijuana
and expect to be seen as a suitable parent. While getting high in a home
setting is indeed legal, it must be done sparingly and discretely from
children in order to not raise any concerns with the Department of Human
Services (DHS). DHS does not want parents to smoke marijuana in front
of their minor children under any circumstances.
In the event that a parent is reported to child protective services for
smoking marijuana, a representative will be sent to their house to inspect
the child’s living situation. The following will be taken into account
when determining whether or not a child is in danger:
1. The child’s cleanliness and visual welfare
2. The amount of marijuana in the home
3. The child’s accessibility to marijuana
4. The odor of cannabis in the home
If a DHS representative or police officer deems that a parent’s marijuana
use is interfering with their ability to care for their child, they may
decide to remove the child from their care and place them with a relative
or foster home.
Facing a Juvenile Dependency Case? Call (303) 578-3940
If you have been accused of
child endangerment for smoking marijuana and are now faced with a juvenile dependency situation, a
Denver family lawyer from The Moodie Law Firm can fight to protect your rights as a parent
and your child’s wellbeing. No matter how severe your situation
may appear, we can provide the compassionate and powerful legal support
you need to help you keep your family intact.
Schedule an initial consultation or
contact us online today to get started.