Will CPS Take My Child for Smoking Weed?


Teens often intake marijuana as an intoxicant in adolescence to calm their busy minds. Many countries have legalized its use for medical and recreational purposes recently. But, it is still illegal for minors as it affects their brain functioning, neurocognitive performance, and microstructural brain development.

If your child actively smokes weed or is caught smoking weed, Child Protective Services (CPS) may investigate the situation and determine if the child is in imminent danger. If they find any findings of neglect/abuse, CPS may take specific action considering age and intake frequency.

Let’s dive deeper into the post and discuss what happens if a child takes marijuana; what are the protection rights, and will CPS take my child for smoking weed?

juvenile smoking weed

Smoking weed has legal implications in most countries worldwide. However, there are countries where you can possess marijuana. So, be aware of your age and area before you consume marijuana. Despite the law regulation and policy, there is an increase in prosecution for abuse cases.

Age and Location

In legalized countries, the age at which children or youth can possess marijuana varies by location. In some places, the minimum age for having marijuana is 18, and in some, it is 21.

Penalties for Possession

In marijuana-legalized countries, certain laws regulate its usage for purchasing and possessing it. However, in non-legalized countries, purchasing and possessing marijuana is an offense, and the law, at its discretion, can penalize an offender. The penalty varies on how much quantity of marijuana is recovered. Large possessions may lead to drug trafficking charges and penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

Penalties for Distribution

Distributing or selling marijuana is punishable by imprisonment and a fine. The penalty increases as the amount of distribution and selling increases. For example, if you are caught selling marijuana to a pregnant woman or underage, the penalty in terms of imprisonment and fine is doubled.

Potential Consequences of Smoking Weed

minor smoking weed

Marijuana intake poses potential consequences on mental health, physical health, and on the overall performance of any child. Weed penetrates from the bloodstream to the brain on smoking. The receptors respond to the changes and stimuli, eventually affecting mood and behavior.

Effects of Weed on Mental Health

The impact of marijuana intake on mental health varies from child to child and the dose to dose they usually take. High-dose intake causes disorientation, psychosis, and long-lasting mental disorders in children. It increases social anxiety and suicidal thoughts in an individual.

Effects of Weed on Physical Health

Children who smoke weed regularly have a higher chance of developing bronchitis, more phlegm, lung irritation, weakened immune system, temporary paranoia and hallucinations, and delayed reactions to stimuli.

Effects of Weed on Performance in School

Regular marijuana intake adversely affects academic performance among children. The children skip classes, study less, get low grades, and their chances of potential dropout increase several times. Moreover, children smoking weed are less likely to participate in social and physical school activities.

What is Child Protective Services and What Do They Do?

Some people worry about ‘will CPS take my child for smoking weed’ because they are usually unsure of what CPS actually does.

Purpose of CPS

Child Protective Services (CPS) is a government authority committed to giving a safe environment to the child in case of drug abuse or child maltreatment. The CPS supports the parents and provides the right services for improving the overall well-being of the children.

When Does CPS Step In?

The CPS processes criminal proceedings against the person who has abused the child. Moreover, it removes the children from home when all the options have been considered. The CPS steps into any house only when it is unsecured for children or if a child experiences neglect or physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.

How Does CPS Handle Cases Involving Weed?

teenager smoking weed

CPS handles every weed case by considering the circumstances from child to child.

Investigation Guidelines

  • CPS involves a child protection investigation within 24 hours of receiving a report.
  • Considers child age and the frequency of marijuana intake.
  • CPS conducts face-to-face with the children and the parents to document the investigation’s assessment and decision.
  • Obtain information from hospitals, schools, police, family medical providers, and other agencies.
  • Conduct safety assessments and take controlling interventions to protect the child.
  • Determine the nature of the abuse, parental or child.
  • CPS also investigates criminal activities concerning the usage and distribution of weed and takes the underage to juvenile detention.

Possible Outcomes

  • CPS strengthens families by maintaining relationships.
  • CPS supports the family and the child by offering parenting classes and substance abuse treatments.
  • CPS counsel the children for drug or alcohol problem.
  • Counsel for anger or stress problems.
  • Provide help for mental health issues.


The CPS protects children who are at risk of mental and physical abuse. It addresses the child’s marijuana issues and helps them stay together. To those who worry “will CPS take my child for smoking weed”, if CPS is involved in your child’s substance use case, it doesn’t take your child but provides help and support depending on the family and children who struggle with substance abuse.


What happens if CPS finds out my child is smoking weed?

If CPS finds out your child is smoking weed, it investigates and assesses the case to protect your child in case of risk and harm. It interviews the child and parents to gather information about the case. CPS administers drug tests to determine the severity of the drug use. By analyzing all the information, CPS takes action, such as providing protective custody and recommending the right drug treatment to defend the child.

Does CPS remove children from their homes for smoking weed?

CPS’s decision to remove a child from their home depends on the severity of the abuse. If CPS determines that the child is at risk of harm, they may choose to remove the child from the house.

Does CPS report cases of underage smoking to the police?

CPS reports the police in cases where the child is involved in illegal marijuana possession and distribution activities. In other cases, it addresses the child’s case and supports the underlying issues responsible for drug abuse.

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Evan Weston

Evan Weston is a contributor to Reefer Posts, a growing community for exploring the developing market of Cannabis and CBD-related products. He spends a lot of time researching the development of health-related products that utilize Cannabis and CBD oils. He also keeps tabs on the developing legal environment regarding medical, recreational cannabis use, and production.

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