Why would attorneys add marijuana issues to legal issues? We will tell you why.
First because the Feds may change marijuana from Schedule 1 to schedule 2; and second, because CA last fall already has made new legislation involving the possible regulation of medical marijuana and marijuana because of the ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in California this year
Drug issues including marijuana, medical marijuana, and all other drugs, legal and non legal, are included in most states’ determination of either child endangerment, or some law which may affect the rights of PARENTS or kids.
In determining custody and visitation, at least in CA— ALL parents should know that any suspected drug use of any kind, including alcohol or prescriptions, legal or not; drunk driving (even if charges dismissed) and over use or improper use of legal meds (let’s say cough medicine, benadryl,etc.) can affect a parent’s rights to both custody and visitation.
When this happens, we believe that it will eventually filter down to the ANIMALS OR PETS in the care of parents.
What we mean by that is: let’s suppose that a parent bought legal medicinal marijuana in an edible form (let’s say candy) and the dog or cat found it in a cupboard and ate it, requiring a vet visit; then the vet reports that the owner either possibly poisoned their animal or maybe tried to make it “suffer” which is what animal rights thrives on? Alleged suffering?
NOW while the animal is obviously not human, if one reads the CA Penal Code for animals and abuse, there is nothing there to say an OWNER can’t be charged with abuse of an animal due to negligence. In fact, the penal code is based on both negligence and knowing acts……….CA PC 597(b):
..."[a]nd whoever, having the charge or custody of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to needless suffering, or inflicts unnecessary cruelty upon the animal, or in any manner abuses any animal, or fails to provide the animal with proper food, drink, or shelter or protection from the weather, or who drives, rides, or otherwise uses the animal when unfit for labor, is, for each offense, guilty of a crime punishable pursuant to subdivision..." We guarantee this code is used and will be used to prosecute a case involving animals that become ill from something that is linked to owners. You will notice the language only says "subjects any animal to..", it does not say "knowingly subjected"....... and all criminal offenses normally require a requisite intent, a knowing mental state, or some kind of willful conduct. If there is no mental state which involves willful, then the crime may be difficult to fit the law. Meaning, if it's negligence, BUT not gross negligence-- then maybe the crime will not rise to the level of "criminal." In CA, a special jury instruction could be used, since there is no jury instruction for animal abuse. And if negligence is not willful conduct then of course the conduct must be gross negligence for most if not all, animal abuse charges. So let's say you left out the rat poison box while you had rushed to take care of your kids and forgot it was still sitting on the laundry room counter, and then you rushed out the front door for an appointment and forgot to put it away and your dog climbed up and ate some of the poison. That is a good example of something that is not gross negligence in our view, but do you really think AC is going to believe it? NO they will prosecute you if they can. However, the District Attorney likely would not do so unless they were in some rabid AR jurisdiction (which would be SF, Los Angeles, and overly liberal areas.) Well we think the same would go for any marijuana product, even if it was inside a cabinet and the dog got it opened anyway. Because how would you ever prove the cabinet was NOT opened? The defense never has the burden of proof.