Substance Abuse & Parenting

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With cannabis now being legal in Canada, it's important to understand how it impacts the family unit and how it may change the outcome of a divorce or child custody hearing.

Even though Cannabis is now legal in Canada, it is both unconscionable and unsafe to engage in its use around children or in areas where children may be present. Just like with alcohol, cannabis can impair judgment, dull reflexes, reduce reaction time, cause conflict, and may also have many other adverse effects.

The family lawyers at the Family Law Firm of Edmonton are well versed in matters concerning the new Canadian recreational cannabis laws, as well as many other similar Alberta laws. We believe in protecting children and ensuring that they can learn and grow in a safe and healthy environment.

Below, we will review the way cannabis impacts parenting, what the dangers of drug use and addiction are within a family, and how cannabis use may be viewed in court cases such as a custody hearing or divorce visitation structuring.

Negative Consequences Related to the Use of Mind-Altering Substances

Many unfortunate consequences can be brought about by the abuse of mind-altering substances like cannabis or alcohol. Substance abuse can have a negative impact on families and children. These kinds of substance-related issues are a huge factor in court cases concerning child custody, separation agreements, and other similar court cases.

With years of experience in these substance-related topics, The Family Law Firm understands the implications and impacts that might be anticipated. Here are a few of the most common issues that stem from substance abuse.

Relationship strain and loss

Drug and alcohol use can lead to marriage or relationship breakdown. Partners may quickly lose trust in each other causing rifts in the relationship.


Substance abuse can lead to conflict between the spouses. Conflicts may include family violence as well as a parent being doubtful of the others ability to parent the children after separation.

Addictive Issues

Addiction is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly. Within a relationship or family, addiction can lead to ubiquitous problems.

Custody Loss

These addiction issues can lead to problems with custody and with the access and parenting of any children from the relationship.

For more information on how drug use can cause issues of addiction, click here.

Cannabis Laws and the Canadian Court System

With Canada's new marijuana laws in effect, uncertainty in court about who should be caring for the children, and who should not, may arise. Supervised parenting after separation may be an option in those cases where the courts deem one parent unable to protect the children from harm and keep them safe. The Family Law Firm is highly experienced in these seemingly uncertain matters.

We also understand the ways that new Canadian marijuana laws will affect the orders coming from the Alberta Courts. Knowing the law is important.  Take a few minutes to review the Cannabis Legalization and Regulation website. These laws must be understood in-depth when a court case involves cannabis use. Knowing what to expect is the first step. At The Family Law Firm, we understand all legal terminology and can interpret these laws in-depth for our clients.

Additionally, this link gives you an in-depth look at the prohibitions, obligations, and offences in place pertaining to new Canadian cannabis laws. It also speaks on general authorizations and provisions that pertain to the Alberta laws. Regulations made under this act should be well understood.

The court system views cannabis use similarly to the way that they view alcohol consumption. Cannabis impairs judgment and is inappropriate to use around children. Cannabis is seen within the court system in a similar way to alcohol: it is a mind-altering substance that may cause a slew of negative issues and is dangerous and irresponsible. It should never be consumed around children.

The Family Law Firm can help you to understand all of these laws and how they may apply to your particular situation.

Edmonton Family Lawyers with experience resolving legal cases involving addiction and alcoholism

The Family Law Firm is well versed in the legal areas of addiction, questionable parent behaviour, and other similar issues. We have spent years fighting to protect children from harm and focus on structuring cases with children in mind. Listed below are just a few subjects that the Family Law Firm frequently navigates.

Areas of Expertise:

You can trust that The Family Law Firm knows which laws are in place in regards to cannabis, alcoholism and other substance-related issues. With years of experience in these fields, we understand the effects new Canadian cannabis laws will have in the courtroom and in a family unit.

For more information, contact us online today or by phone at (780) 756-1171.

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