Colorado drug laws can complicate child custody matters

The state of Colorado has become one of, if not the single most progressive state in the country when addressing drug addiction treatment and prevention. However, recently passed legislation may have some residents puzzled as to how to handle other matters that will be effected in the trickle down of those decisions.

Colorado has long been a pioneering state within the marijuana industry and its legalization. Recently, the state also chose to take an approach of decriminalizing drug addiction involving other substances as well. It is their hope that by doing so more addicts will be inclined to complete treatment programs and move out of their addictions. By the latest update to the Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 2013, the possession of 4 grams or less of a controlled substance listed in schedules I or II, with the exception of GHB, will be considered misdemeanors, generally sentenced to only probation and no jail time.

This update, along with current marijuana laws, poses a dilemma in how a court will handle child custody matters. In general, parents should keep a few things in mind. First, even though an activity is perfectly legal, it can still affect a Judge’s determination of whether a parent is fit. Second, parents should be prepared for any drug use, whether legal or illegal, to come up in the courtroom. Regardless of the legal standing of an activity, a Judge will consider the whole picture. Does the parent provide a safe, stable environment for the child? Is the parent willing to put the child’s needs and health before their own? Does the parent project an overall positive image and lifestyle for the child?

Any parent who is facing a custody battle involving any form of drug use is advised to consult with a knowledgeable attorney. He or she will be able to help form a full picture of the health of a home.