Judge denies mother custody because of cannabis use
A Quebec Superior Court justice has denied a young mother shared custody of her child because of her consumption of cannabis.
In a judgment rendered April 1, Judge Jérôme Frappier concluded the woman had shown her cannabis consumption came before the interests of her child. The court awarded custody to the father and allowed the mother visitation rights two of out every three weekends but only if she was not under the influence of cannabis or any other drug.
The court heard the couple used cannabis regularly before the birth of the child, but while the father stopped all use once the child was born, the mother continued to smoke five or six joints a day, as she did during her pregnancy, and despite medical advice that she stop.
The child showed symptoms of drug withdrawal after the birth in 2016 and a urine analysis showed the presence of THC — the principle psychoactive agent in cannabis — in the child’s system.
The woman won full custody of the child after she spilt with her spouse in 2017; however, the two agreed to shared custody in 2018.
In the spring of 2018, after the mother had repeatedly asked her ex-spouse to take care of the child while she had custody and her new companion — a man with a police record for drugs — was in jail for 10 days, the court granted custody to the father and the mother was banned from using drugs in the child’s presence.
The woman became pregnant again and still continued her drug use, her second child also showing symptoms of withdrawal after birth.
Frappier noted that “the principle criterion that guides the court in the matter of custody is the interests of the child.”
Even though the mother argued that cannabis was legal and that her parenting abilities were not diminished, the judge observed the woman had not followed the recommendations of her doctor over the course of two pregnancies, that both her children exhibited symptoms of drug withdrawal and that a report produced by youth protection authorities categorized her as a drug addict.
Frappier cited jurisprudence that established that while occasional cannabis use was not in itself sufficient cause to question the capacities of a parent, “daily and constant consumption of cannabis” brought into question “the capacity of an adult parent to meet the needs of their child … just as the regular use of alcohol or medications.”
This resident is flooded and the government wants him to pay
Mulcair: Conservative wins in various provinces will actually help Trudeau
He thought he was fine and you probably would have too but this night changed his life