The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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Can My Parental Rights Be Affected if I Am a Legal Marijuana User?

 Posted on April 02,2020 in Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

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The ultimate goal of all parents is to make sure their children are happy and healthy. In cases in which parents are divorced or are no longer together, disagreements may arise when it comes to determining what is best for their kids. In divorce cases, you must address certain child-related issues, such as parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. Illinois courts strongly encourage couples to work together to come up with a plan for their family, but this does not always work. Sometimes, a parent will do whatever they can to get their way when it comes to the custody of the children. If it is known that a parent uses marijuana, the other parent may attempt to use that fact to their advantage. 

Marijuana Laws in Illinois

Medical marijuana has been legal in the state of Illinois since 2014. Those with a variety of qualifying conditions have been able to use cannabis as a way to treat certain diseases and conditions. At the beginning of 2020, recreational marijuana became legal for most adults in Illinois. As long as you are over the age of 21, you are legally permitted to purchase and consume cannabis in Illinois, although in certain amounts and in designated places. It is important to note that the drug still remains federally illegal.

Concerns About Marijuana Use and Parental Rights

In most cases, a parent’s responsible marijuana use cannot be used as a basis for denying him or her parental rights. This topic is specifically covered in the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which states that any person who is responsible for the well-being of a child cannot be discriminated against as a sole, primary, or secondary basis for denying parental rights. As long as you are using marijuana legally and responsibly, you cannot be denied parenting time or decision-making responsibilities.

Irresponsible Marijuana Use

Even though cannabis use in itself cannot be used as a reason to restrict parental rights, irresponsible marijuana use may play a role in these decisions. This is also true for any other intoxicating substance, such as prescription medications or alcohol. If your child’s other parent suggests that you have been irresponsibly using cannabis, the court may intervene. The court will examine the situation to determine if your cannabis use is a danger to your child’s well-being. Examples of reckless use may include:

  • Being charged with a marijuana-related DUI

  • Using marijuana around your children

  • Being under the influence of marijuana when you are taking care of your children

  • Allowing your children to use marijuana

  • Not properly storing your marijuana or keeping it out of reach of your children

Contact a Kendall County Divorce Attorney 

Every parent deserves to play a role in their children’s lives. If you feel as if your parental rights are being affected because of your cannabis use, you should speak with a Yorkville parental rights lawyer right away. Likewise, if you believe that your children’s other parent is using marijuana irresponsibly, an attorney can help you take steps to keep your children safe. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you create a parenting plan that is in the best interests of everyone. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 630-409-8184.




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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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