child custody and marijuana use

Child Custody and Marijuana Use in Ohio

Marijuana use and its impact on child custody cases in Ohio can be a complex and sensitive issue. The legal landscape surrounding marijuana is evolving, with several states, including Ohio, having legalized its medical and most recently, recreational use. Regardless of the legal status, the use of marijuana can still be a factor in child custody cases.

When it comes to child custody disputes, courts prioritize the best interests of the child. Substance abuse, including marijuana use, can be a factor that the court considers when making custody determinations. It’s important to note that each case is unique, and outcomes can vary based on the specific circumstances.


In Ohio, the court may consider factors such as:

  1. Parental Conduct: Courts may assess the behavior of each parent, including any substance abuse issues. Regular marijuana use, especially if it affects a parent’s ability to provide a stable and safe environment, may be taken into account.
  2. Impact on Parental Ability: If marijuana use impairs a parent’s ability to care for the child or creates an unsafe environment, it could influence custody decisions. For instance, if a parent is under the influence of marijuana while caring for the child, it may be viewed negatively by the court.
  3. Legal Status of Marijuana Use: While medical marijuana is legal in Ohio, recreational use is still in Ohio legislative limbo as of the date of this posting. The legal status of marijuana use may influence the court’s perspective on its impact on the child’s well-being.
  4. Evidence of Responsible Use: If a parent can demonstrate responsible and legal use of marijuana, it may be less likely to negatively impact custody arrangements. This includes compliance with medical marijuana regulations if applicable.
  5. Impact on the Child: The court will assess how a parent’s marijuana use affects the child’s physical and emotional well-being. If there’s evidence that the child is adversely affected, it may be considered in the custody determination.


Parents involved in custody disputes must be aware of and adhere to Ohio’s laws regarding marijuana use. Additionally, seeking legal advice from a qualified family law attorney, like those at Mishak Law in Amherst, Ohio, is essential to understand how specific factors in each case may be interpreted by the court.

As laws surrounding marijuana use continue to evolve, individuals should stay informed about any changes that may impact child custody proceedings in Ohio.