Virginia Senate Committee Approves Bill Banning Marijuana From Being Used as Evidence of Child Abuse

A Senate committee has voted to pass legislation preventing the use of marijuana alone from being evidence of child abuse.

The Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted 15 to 0 yesterday to pass Senate Bill 115.

The measure provides “that a child shall not be considered an abused or neglected child, and no person shall be denied custody or visitation of a child, based only on the fact that the child’s parent or other person responsible for his care, or the person petitioning for custody or visitation of the child, possessed or consumed legally authorized substances.”

An enactment clause in the bill “directs the Board of Social Services to amend its regulations, guidance documents, and other instructional materials to ensure that such regulations, documents, and materials comply with, and that investigations and family assessments are conducted by local departments of social services in accordance with, the provisions of the bill.”

A companion measure, House Bill 833, was recently passed through the House of Representatives in a 56 to 43 vote.

Last month the Senate Courts of Justices Committee voted 7 to 5 to pass a bill to legalize recreational marijuana sales. Under current law Virginia is the only legal marijuana state (among 24) to not allow licensed sales.

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