Legalized marijuana has created a slew of new jobs in Colorado – including the role of “budtender,” equivalent to a bartender. Andrew and Mary met working as budtenders, fell in love, and Mary got pregnant.

They broke up just a month after their daughter was born. Mary wanted to prevent Andrew from seeing his daughter. When he sued for joint custody, she told the court that she believed his drug use made him a bad father. The drug she referred to was marijuana, and the court ruled that any use of marijuana, even in the smallest amount, would prevent Andrew from gaining custody. The judge ordered Andrew to take a drug test.

Andrew contacted Elephant Circle after the first custody hearing. He had at first refused to take the drug test at all, which angered the court further. EC helped him to understand that, while recreational use of marijuana is legal, the courts are not consistent in how they treat its use in parental rights cases.

EC represented Andrew in the next custody hearing, and he agreed to stop using marijuana and to take random drug tests for nine months. He committed himself to ensuring he would have a relationship with his daughter, no matter what it took.

A year later, he is a grateful client who was glad to have an advocate, and he has a consistent and important role in his daughter’s life.