On January 6th 2012, I told you how Arizona's Child Protective Services was discriminating against me as a medical marijuana patient, but it's worst than I thought.
I hoped the voter passed Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, Arizona Child Protective Services, and DCYF's own guidelines on medical marijuana would be enough.
It wasn't, I was told by the Arizona Legislative Office of Family Advocacy that medical marijuana patients would not be given custody of children, when I ask if they could check on the status of the medical marijuana law.
This was their reply, “I can only tell you what the decision is by DES and the Governor regarding medical marijuana--CPS cannot and will not violate the federal CPS law”. “So, it doesn't matter what other state departments or cities or counties are doing but CPS will follow the federal CPS law regarding placing children with people who use marijuana no matter the reasons”.
It made no sense to me, that CPS, and DCYF would go to all the time and expense to write a manual, then, tell CPS case managers to disregard the section.
So I sent a copy of the DCYF manual, there's a whole section on medical marijuana, to the Office of Family Advocacy. See Link https://extranet.azdes.gov/dcyfpolicy/Chapter_02/Chapter_2_Section_1_Interviews_with_the_Child,_Family_and_C.htm (Chapter 2: Section 1 Interviews With The Child, Family And Collateral Contacts)
This was their reply, “Mr. Fleming: It doesn't matter what this says--BUT, every state in the US must follow what the federal law says around CPS AND because marijuana is illegal every state CPS must follow the federal law”. “So, because you use marijuana--even if under a medical prescription--the children cannot be placed with you or AZ CPS is in violation of the federal law”.
I was also told that every judge, in every county were informed of this by DES/DCYF/CPS several months ago. So it appears discrimination against medical marijuana patients is alive an well in Arizona, and people with kids should keep their mouth shut about being a legal medical marijuana patients in Arizona.
While Arizona refuses to give custody of children to medical marijuana patients, it has apparently changed it's policy on the use of Meth by parents.
I was told by a CPS supervisor, and the Arizona Child Abuse Hotline, that using/selling meth, or being involved in prostitution is a “lifestyle choice”, and is NOT a CPS problem, as long as the parents don't do it around the kids, it will not effect custody.
This CPS case is under review at a state level, and I'm hesitant to say to much about all the problems in the case, but be sure, it will be interesting.
One thing I will say, if I was the head of a state agency, and I was aware of a recording where CPS and employees from other agencies were at a minimum being incompetent, and possibly attempting to manipulate the outcome of a placement, I would want to hear the recording, not ignore it.
Please, before recording any conversions, check your state law to see if you live in a one party, or two party, consent state.