California Governor Signs Child Welfare Bill. Here’s What Cannabis Using Parents Need To Know?

Home » California Governor Signs Child Welfare Bill
Garry Stewart
Written By Steve Brandon

April 12, 2023

Table of Content
  1. Introduction
  2. The New Law
marijuana cover image

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Tuesday that includes provisions for social workers who are called to investigate child welfare to handle parental cannabis use the same way they do for alcohol.

Reggie Jones-Sawyer, the Assembly member, said, “Cannabis use alone should not be a basis for state intervention into family life.”

Under the California law

Under The New Law

The Department of Social Services (DSS) is required to update “all regulations, all-county letters, and other instructions relating to the investigation of a minor” to stipulate that “when a social worker is investigating a case of child abuse, a parent’s use or possession or consumption of cannabis is treated in the same manner as they use or possess alcohol and legally prescribed medication.”

Further, Jones-Sawyer added, “As with alcohol and prescription medication, parents and guardians should be allowed to safely and legally use cannabis without fear of having their children permanently removed under their supervision, provided there is no other vision regarding the child’s safety.”

In some states, a cannabis-using parent can be used as evidence for removing custody, even if there is no threat to the life and health of the child.

Last year, New Jersey’s Superior Court said that a parent’s recreational cannabis users could not consider the primary reason to discontinue that parent’s rights – unless the Child Protection and Permanency prove case-specific evidence that the marijuana usage could create a threat to the health of the child.

Furthermore, Governor Gavin Newsom signed two other bills this week, including one that protects medical marijuana patients against discrimination in healthcare. The second is the amendment of an existing law that permits registered patients to use medical cannabis products at hospitals.

The governor is also in talks with the authorities about a series of other marijuana reform proposals that the legislature passed recently. Moreover, lawmakers sent the governor a bill that ensures the delivery service for medical cannabis patients and ends the policy that allows individual jurisdictions to ban marijuana licenses from operating in their judiciary.

Sen. Scott Wiener, the sponsor of that proposal, has argued that the legislation will enhance patient access to marijuana and help improve the system throughout the state and fill the loophole that grows illegal traders.

Social Activists were also pleased to see a measure providing job protections for most workers who for people who use cannabis outside of work. The proposed bill would prohibit companies from punishing those who fail a specific type of drug test because they are patients of marijuana. And prohibit people from losing their jobs for smoking marijuana outside of work.

The governor has yet to decide whether to sign it into law. According to other members of the assembly, there is a bright chance that Governor will sign the bill, and If signed, the law would take effect on Jan. 1, 2024. After the sign, California would become the seventh state in the United States to protect employees who smoke marijuana outside of work.

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