The Complicated Relationship Between Marijuana Use and Parenting

Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, No. 16, November 2019

Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 512

10 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2019

See all articles by Kathryn Foust

Kathryn Foust

Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students

Date Written: November 14, 2019

Abstract

The intersection between marijuana and parenting is both highly controversial and largely unexplored. Despite the trend of legalization (medicinal and recreational) across the country, there is a widening discrepancy between criminal laws and child welfare policies. Even in states where marijuana is recreationally legal, a parent might still be charged with child abuse or neglect as a result of his or her marijuana use. Although second-hand marijuana smoke has proven to be a relatively low risk of harm to children, other areas of concern have not been adequately studied, such as the effects of marijuana use during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding. Despite the lack of reliable scientific studies on the impact of ingestion by children, some initial studies have shown a marked increase in frequency of accidental ingestions and resulting hospital treatment in states that have legalized marijuana. The palatability and attractiveness of “edibles” is likely the cause of this measurable and dramatic increase. Overall, parental marijuana use has been inadequately studied by science, but some reliable data is available which could be used overhaul existing children’s services policies.

Keywords: child abuse, marijuana, legalization, edibles, breastfeeding, parenting

Suggested Citation

Foust, Kathryn, The Complicated Relationship Between Marijuana Use and Parenting (November 14, 2019). Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, No. 16, November 2019; Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 512. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3486864 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3486864

Kathryn Foust (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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