PORTLAND, Maine — The state’s accomplished cloister on Thursday denied the address of a Biddeford ancestor who claimed a lower cloister awarded aegis of his babe to his ex-girlfriend because he is a medical marijuana patient.
Dustin A. Sternick asked the Maine Supreme Judicial Cloister to analysis a accommodation by Biddeford District Cloister Judge Michael Cantara application aegis of Sternick’s 4-year-old babe to the girl’s mother, Jeanette Daggett, who affairs to move to Florida.
Sternick argued the cloister abandoned on the protections afforded to him pursuant to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act and the cloister “abused its discretion” in application Daggett aegis based on Sternick’s allowable marijuana use.
In a case that has ample implications for medical marijuana users, Arch Amends Leigh Saufley wrote the accepted 6-0 accommodation abnegation Sternick’s address based aloft his pot use and the affliction of his child.
“As with any medication or substance, the catechism of whether a parent’s assimilation of marijuana is acknowledged is alone allotment of the equation,” she wrote. “The added important catechism is whether that assimilation abnormally affects, limits, or impairs a parent’s accommodation to ancestor his or her child.”
The arch amends went assimilate say, “Sternick uses ample amounts of medical marijuana to amusement a medical action and has a abundant accord of marijuana, in abounding forms, all over the home. Friends and ancestors of Sternick generally bead by the abode to access or blot marijuana, and the adolescent has been apparent to marijuana. Sternick’s adeptness to affliction for a adolescent adolescent while beneath the access of marijuana is ambiguous and problematic.”
Photos submitted in cloister appearance that Sternick has “voluminous amounts of marijuana-infused broiled appurtenances in the freezer and a jar abounding of marijuana in the kitchen chiffonier — both places that were potentially attainable to the child,” the cloister allegation state.
Hillary Lister, Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine director, said alleviative pot should be advised like any added medicine.
“Parents accumulate Nyquil and added almighty decree pills in their bath cabinets that are technically attainable to a child, but I’m not acquainted of that actuality acclimated accurately to abjure a ancestor custody,” she said Thursday night in an email.
The state’s grow-your-own medical marijuana law was accustomed by Maine voters in 1999, and a decade after voters alternate to the acclamation to abutment acceptance patients to accurately buy from eight nonprofit, government-sanctioned clinics and the conception of marijuana agronomics centers. Protections for medical marijuana patients in adolescent aegis cases were added as allotment of the 2009 citizen’s initiative.
The law specifies that, “A being may not be denied affectionate rights and responsibilities with account to or acquaintance with a accessory adolescent as a aftereffect of acting in accordance with this chapter, unless the person’s conduct is adverse to the best interests of the accessory child.”
“This is the aboriginal case I am acquainted of back that aegis was put into Maine law area a cloister has disqualified adjoin a ancestor in a aegis case due to their medical use of marijuana,” Lister said. “I would like to see added capacity of this case to actuate whether the marijuana was absolutely a accident to the child.”
Sternick already let an ear infection suffered by his babe aggravate for 18 canicule afore gluttonous medical absorption for her and additionally bound her in her allowance on at atomic one occasion, allegedly so he could accept aloofness to use his alleviative marijuana, the allegation said.
“The adolescent was affected to defecate in her bedchamber because she was bound in and could not get out to go to the bathroom,” Saufley said.
The cloister additionally begin that, “although able-bodied intentioned, Sternick has not baffled the abounding ambit of abilities all-important to affliction for a adolescent adolescent and has not paid austere absorption to the child’s bloom needs.”
“The [lower] court’s absolute allegation did not await on Sternick’s acknowledged use of marijuana but rather focused on his aberration and crime while parenting and the consequential carelessness of his child’s needs,” the arch amends said.
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