Arizona DCS to Medical-Marijuana
Patients: We Don't Want You as a Foster
RAY STERN | SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 | 7:26AM
Two weeks ago, Phoenix resident Rebecca Masterson took in a kid who desperately
needed a home.
The 16-year-old boy has no parents and has "anger issues" from a life of neglect,
9/16/2017 Arizona DCS: Medical-Marijuana Users Can't Be Foster Parents | Phoenix New Times
she wrote on her personal blog on September 1. She met him earlier this year after
choosing to become a foster parent.
Arizona could use more people like Masterson. The state Department of Child
Services listed more than 18,000 children in out-of-home placements last year,
with about 6,500 with licensed foster parents and another 7,500 in kinship
placements. The Arizona Children's Association says there is a "critical need" for
more foster parents.
The teen moved into Masterson's home under a kinship placement, even though
they're not related. Masterson is an attorney who lives comfortably. But she soon
applied for an official foster-care license, which comes with a monthly stipend —
paid for with state and federal money — for food, clothing, school supplies, and
"The state basically said ... we don’t think you’re suitable to be a
licensed foster parent because you buy a supplement online that
really helps your child. No license for you." — Rebecca Masterson
"The stipend would be helpful as my grocery bill has doubled and the teenager
came with four garbage bags of clothes, three of which were too small," Masterson
wrote. "What I don’t need would go into an account for Johnny to use when he’s
She's not getting the license or the stipend.
The state DCS rejected her after she admitted she was a registered caregiver under
the state's medical-marijuana law and kept a product in her home that contained
cannabidol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound that's found in cannabis.
Yet the product, along with all other forms of cannabis, is perfectly legal for
qualified users and caregivers under the state's voter-approved, 2010 medicalmarijuana
The CBD tincture isn't for her — Masterson said she doesn't use cannabis in any
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