Child Endangerment and Michigan Marijuana Laws
If you are charged with any offense involving controlled substances, driving under the influence, or child endangerment, our experienced defense lawyers are ready, willing, and able to help you.
Marijuana and the Connection to Child Custody and Abuse Laws
In the State of Michigan, possession, and use of medical marijuana is legal and additional rights are provided by the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA), the place of such activities as evidence in child custody and abuse cases is not altogether clear. When the MMMA was passed in 2008, it was expected that there would be some legal grey area to work through. The same is true with the legal use and possession of recreational marijuana by those over 21 years of age under the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act. Child endangerment defense is critical because a conviction can have child custody and visitation consequences, result in jail and probation, loss of firearm rights, and more.
What is the law regarding children and Medical Marijuana?
The MMMA permits the medicinal use of marijuana when carried out following the MMMA’s provisions, one of which is “A person shall not be denied custody or visitation of a minor for acting under this Act unless the person’s behavior is such that it creates an unreasonable danger to the minor that can be clearly articulated and substantiated” (MCL 333.26424 (c)).
Yet with this statute, the legal clarity ends. There is a growing debate regarding the medical use of marijuana and the effects on children. The debate has evolved as marijuana policy changes, and marijuana use becomes increasingly accepted. The task of determining when a legal behavior crosses the line of child endangerment is complicated. The decision of when to charge a suspect is made by two notoriously conservative parties, the police, and a prosecutor.
The law’s application relies heavily on specific facts and can result in many possible outcomes in court decisions. There have been several highly publicized cases in which a child was removed from a parent or guardian’s home engaging in medical marijuana use. No detailed opinions have been released by the Michigan Court of Appeals or the Michigan Supreme Court to guide action in this regard.
One thing is clear, driving under the influence of marijuana with a child in the car is considered child endangerment and will result in serious criminal charges.
Recreational Use of Marijuana and Child Endangerment Defense
In Michigan, only adults over the age of 21 may use marihuana legally. In terms of where you may use the substance, Possession or use of marijuana by someone under 21 faces a possible civil infraction and a fine. Michigan law requires that anyone using marijuana must do so in private, such as in their residence, hotel room, or private office. It is illegal to use marijuana in a public place, such as on the street, concert, sporting event, park, or restaurant.
Possession of marijuana is another matter. The amount that you may carry varies depending on where you are. For example, while you may possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana in your home, you may not carry more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana when out in public. Furthermore, it’s illegal to possess marijuana in areas frequented by children, such as schools and school buses.
Possession and use of marijuana are still illegal under federal law, so you should possess marijuana on federal land or locations regulated by federal law. Airports, for example, are considered federal property and, as such, follow federal law. Therefore, it is illegal to possess or use marijuana in an airport, any other federal property, military bases, and federal prisons and detention centers.
Michigan Attorneys for Drug Crimes and Child Endangerment Defense
If you are a patient, a qualified patient, or a caregiver and you are charged or being investigated for an offense involving the use of marijuana, you will need a Michigan Drug Defense Attorney. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN P.L.L.C. can help. We have experience dealing with medical marijuana issues and other drug-related offenses. We will do everything possible to help you and we are not afraid to win!
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.