Using marijuana in the house when children are present is not only frowned upon, it can also lead to parents being charged with a criminal offense.
Some people believe marijuana makes them better parents. They claim it takes the edge off and allows them to find moments of relaxation when their little curtain climbers go from being a bit rambunctious to full-blown evil. Without it, who knows? They might drop them off at the nearest fire department, put in a call to an adoption agency, or sell them off to a band of gypsies.
One way or another, moms and dads need a way to decompress from the grind of raising kids, and weed does the trick for some of them. But it’s still one of those things that can get parents into trouble.
It is mostly common knowledge that any and all weed-related activities in areas of prohibition are bound to bring some unwanted hassles with the law. But almost no one stops to consider the unsung rules in legal states. For example, using marijuana in the house when children are present is not only frowned upon, but it can also lead to parents being charged with a criminal offense.
It doesn’t matter if an adult is using marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, most states will come out with the prosecutorial hatchet against adults who smoke weed when minors are around.
“You cannot knowingly use in close proximity [around] anyone under 21 years of age,” Illinois attorney W. Scott Hanken told ABC affiliate News Channel 20.
Some people may disregard this part of the law. They might think, “how is anyone going to know whether we are using pot in front of our kids or not?” Well, to those people we say: It really doesn’t take much to spark an investigation. Let’s say a teacher catches a hint of marijuana odor on a child’s clothing, that alone could be enough to get the police involved. Or maybe a child is overheard bragging on the playground about how his parents always smoke weed in the house. If these incidents (or one like them) are reported — and teachers are required by law to do so — the police must investigate. And yes, this is even true in states where marijuana is legal.
In the same way that a person can get charged for child neglect or endangerment by chauffeuring children around with THC in their system, the same rules apply for people who use weed in front of kids. Depending on the state, this could mean felony charges, steep fines and even jail time.
So, how is a parent supposed to consume marijuana when their kids are always home? Very carefully.
As we’ve covered in other columns, marijuana should always be kept out of the reach of children in the first place. ALWAYS. We want to avoid sending little Jimmy to the emergency room from an accidental THC poisoning, so it is imperative that all cannabis products be stored in a safe and secure location. However, if a parent decides to throw caution to the wind and use cannabis freely around their progeny, we would strongly advise against smoking it.
Edibles are a safer form a consumption when the little ones are at home. Not only is there no pungent odor to contend with — one that can linger on hair, clothing, backpacks and other items — but there’s no paraphernalia clutter or any other stoner markers that could ignite a conversation at school.
Now, this certainly isn’t fair, considering that there typically aren’t any laws that prevent parents from drinking alcohol near kids. There are still times, though, when even booze can cause the same hassles as weed. All an outsider has to do is suspect a child may be around some unsavory activities and report it. From there, the outcome is up to police and Child Protective Services.
All in all, if you are a parent, you should probably keep your pot use away from children. And definitely don’t allow them to partake. That’s one sure fire way to see they get sent to foster care while you go to jail.