New Zealand — Earlier this year, a 3-year-old boy slept for three days after eating some of his grandmother’s pot-laced cookies. Now, an even younger child has been exposed to marijuana … in his mother’s breastmilk.
The 29-year-old woman has reportedly been convicted of giving her 3-month-old infant drugs. Whether or not it was intentional remains unclear. The woman pleaded guilty last week, and was sentenced to six months’ supervision.
The woman was discovered when authorities were on a police search for drugs. Her partner was also arrested on drug charges.
Senior Sergeant Andrew McDonald reported that he believes the suspect’s actions “amounted to child abuse.”
“Child abuse is family violence in these circumstances, and it is clear this baby and its mother needed help,” he said. “People often believe drug-related activities are victimless, but it affects the people around them.” McDonald added that adults making bad choices affect “the most vulnerable in the community, and it [is not] ok to affect children by those choices.”
“We need to take the children’s needs into consideration.”
New Zealand experts not that the woman could possibly avoided charges, had she not plead guilty.
Although the mother exposed her infant to drugs, Warren Brookbanks notes, “It would be difficult to prove that the woman had deliberately administered cannabis to her baby through her breast milk.” The professor of law at the University of Auckland told the Wanganui Chronicle, “It would be necessary for the prosecution to prove that the mother both knew she had cannabis in her system, and that she intended to administer it to the baby.”