(CN) - A father should undergo drug counseling if he wants to reunite with his children and continue his use of medical marijuana, a California appeals court ruled.
The juvenile court ruled that Patrick E. has a history of substance abuse, and that his use of medical marijuana poses a risk to his children.
The court had jurisdiction over Patrick's time with his children due to his conviction for domestic violence.
The 2nd District Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling, noting that Patrick was using marijuana before he obtained a prescription for it.
Since the children have complained of the marijuana smoke, Justice Croskey added, they are placed at risk due to the secondhand smoke.
Also, the children corroborated their mother's report that marijuana makes Patrick "irritable, he's not himself, he snaps at the children and has less patience with them, and his response to the children telling Father they are hungry is to tell 10-year-old Alexis to fix them something."
Croskey also disagreed with Patrick's contention that the trial court ordered him to choose between his kids and the legal use of medical marijuana.
"We do not perceive that Father must necessarily forego the use of medical marijuana," Croskey wrote. "However, the record shows that the manner in which he has been using it represents a threat to the physical and emotional health and safety of the minors. Thus, drug counseling is appropriate."
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