Here in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, the family court grants the custody of the child to people who are capable of providing for the best interests of the child. It is common that relatives, especially grandparents, are concerned about the welfare of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. That is the story of two Colorado grandparents from El Paso, who are trying to adopt their great-granddaughter.
The Department of Human Services turned a 10-month old baby away from her great-grandparents because the elderly couple uses medical marijuana. The baby girl lived with her great-grandparents for five months before the child's mother decided to take the child to live with the baby's father.
The child is currently with a foster family, after child welfare officers intervened. The great-grandfather said that the medical use of marijuana was not a secret. It was known right from the start of the adoption process. The issue only came up when the couple was in court to transfer the baby from the foster family.
An official from the Department of Human Services said that they will need to figure out the reason for marijuana use, and if the medical use of the substance will interfere with effective parenting. The great-grandfather said that he already built a fence around the marijuana plants, and he cannot think of reasons why the great-grandparents have been denied the baby's custody.
Like any other child custody dispute, the court awards custody based on the child's welfare. In this case, there is a valid reason to withhold awarding the custody, unless the grandparents can prove that they are the best candidates to take custody of the child.
Raising a very young child requires a lot of time and effort, and that can be a challenge. However, since Colorado Family Laws does not specify if medical marijuana use is a factor in denying custody of a child, there is a possibility that the grandparents can win the dispute and gain custody of their great-grandchild.
Source: KOAA, "Couple claims they were denied custody because of medical marijuana use," Andy Koen, July 9, 2013.