The name of an Arizona woman who used medical marijuana during her pregnancy to treat morning sickness will be struck off the state’s child abuse registry. Lindsay Ridgell will no longer be included on the Confidential Registry as a result of the order from the Arizona Supreme Court on Thursday, which has restricted her career chances since she was added to it in 2019.
Additionally, given that the use of medicinal cannabis is less likely to be viewed legally as a form of child maltreatment, it might have wider ramifications. The top court’s one-page order, according to Ridgell’s counsel Julie Gunnigle, is “just amazing.” “Four years have passed while my client has struggled with the ambiguity of this issue.
The state Department of Child Safety defended its choice to add Ridgell to the registry when her newborn tested positive for cannabis in February 2019. However, the Arizona Supreme Court declined to accept their appeal. Last April, the Arizona Court of Appeals rendered a unanimous decision in the department’s favor.
Ridgell’s cannabis use was legal, according to the three-judge panel, and did not constitute child neglect. At the time of her pregnancy, Lindsay Ridgell worked for Arizona’s Department of Child Safety, and as a result of being accused of child maltreatment, she was fired from her position.
The registry, which companies use as part of background checks on employees who care for vulnerable children and adults, can be brought about by allegations of neglect or abuse. Anyone added to the list will remain there for 25 years, earning it the moniker “black list” from detractors.
Ridgell contended that she possessed a medical marijuana card that had been granted by her doctor, who was aware of her pregnancy. Ridgell claimed that she used the drug to relieve the symptoms of morning sickness.
The appeals court came to the conclusion that Ridgell did nothing unlawful despite Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act’s requirement that cannabis use “shall be deemed the equivalent of the use of any other medication under the direction of a physician.” A series of earlier court judgments that had determined Ridgell to have neglected her child was overturned by that ruling from last year.
“This Is Important to The Nation”
On Thursday, Ridgell wasn’t immediately available for comment. However, she said in an interview conducted last year that her son was doing well and that she had been struggling to find work ever since she had been added to the registry.
Gunnigle claimed that Ridgell should obtain employment more easily as a result of Thursday’s order. It also raises the bar for the Department of Child Safety to make a negligence allegation when a pregnant woman consumes medical marijuana in accordance with state law, according to her. For instance, she added, the Department of Kid Safety would need to demonstrate that marijuana was used carelessly and endangered a child.
“This is important to the country, “Gunnigle threw in. Although child welfare situations involving medicinal cannabis have arisen in other jurisdictions, none of them, according to the speaker, have been the subject of a court decision as definitive as the one issued by the Arizona Court of Appeals. What are people chatting about? For the most recent information on the day, subscribe to our popular newsletter.
The National Advocates for Pregnant Women, the Academy of Perinatal Harm Reduction, the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, numerous doctors, and comedian and actress Amy Schumer, who has spoken out against marijuana use during pregnancy, are just a few of the organizations that submitted a friend of the court brief in support of Ridgell.