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Mother found guilty of giving her baby cannabis through her breast milk

By MrG, Oct 27, 2012 | | |
  1. MrG
    NZ mother admits given baby cannabis in her breast milk
    27 October 2012
    A woman in New Zealand has been found guilty of giving her three-month-old baby cannabis through her breast milk.

    The 29-year-old mother had pleaded guilty in what is believed to be the first case of its kind in the country. She was charged with giving a controlled drug to a person under 18, after a police drugs raid on her house.

    The Whanganui District Court said the actions of the woman, who has not been named, amounted to child abuse and gave her to a six month supervision order.

    "Child abuse is family violence in these circumstances, and it is clear this baby and its mother needed help," senior court official Andrew McDonald told the Wanganui Chronicle. "People often believe drug-related activities are victimless, but it affects the people around them."
    The woman's partner faced other charges relating to the police raid, said the paper.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20107973

Comments

  1. MrG
    Woman gave baby drug via breast milk

    Saturday, October 27, 2012

    A warrant to search a house for drugs resulted in a 29-year-old woman being convicted in the Whanganui District Court for administering cannabis through her breast milk to her 3-month-old baby.

    It is the first time in New Zealand anyone has been charged with and convicted of administering a class C controlled drug, namely cannabis, to a person under the age of 18 years.
    The search involved a police team and the armed offenders squad.
    The woman was convicted in the Whanganui District Court last week, after pleading guilty.
    Acting Senior Sergeant Andrew McDonald said the woman'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."

    Mr McDonald said the baby did not have a voice and police needed to act to support the mother and baby. The woman was sentenced to six months' supervision.

    "People often believe drug-related activities are victimless, but it affects the people around them," Mr McDonald said. He said adults making bad choices affected the most vulnerable in our community, and it was not okay to affect children by those choices. Mr McDonald said the woman did not face any other charges, however, her partner faced other charges relating to the drug raid.

    Warren Brookbanks, a professor of law at the University of Auckland, said the case was unusual and was almost certainly the only one of its kind in New Zealand.

    He said the case was unlikely to have been successful if the woman had not pleaded guilty.

    Professor Brookbanks said it would be difficult to prove that the woman had deliberately administered cannabis to her baby through her breast milk."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. "In the absence of both of those mental elements, it would be impossible to prove a relevant administration of the drug," Professor Brookbanks said.He said a person could not be convicted of administering a drug where they did not know they had consumed cannabis or did not know that cannabis in the system could be passed on to a dependent child through breast milk.

    Allison Jamieson, Plunket's clinical adviser, said her organisation advised mothers against using cannabis, tobacco and other drugs."Most drugs, including cannabis and P, pass through the breast milk and are known to affect babies."It is safest for breastfeeding mothers to avoid smoking and taking drugs, because the long-term effects of this on the baby are unknown," Ms Jamieson said.

    http://www.wanganuichronicle.co.nz/news/woman-gave-baby-drug-via-breast-milk/1599493/
  2. TheBigBadWolf
    And what are we learning from this?

    Don't talk to the cops. Get yourself a decent lawyer. Do not plead guilty when the police wants to "make a deal" with you,- at last its the judges or juries work to find a judgement and police has little to none impact on the decisions.

    Is there any information whether the raid came to actual result as in finding drugs in the woman's appartement/house?

    BBW

    (Disclaimer: Not that anyone gets the idea I'd condone breastfeeding while taking drugs, I don't, but this doesn't seem to me the real issue here.)

    EDIT: what kind of drug is meant with "P" in the sentence: "Most drugs, including cannabis and P, pass through the breast milk and are known to affect babies." Is P an newzealandian specialty?? any ideas?
  3. MrG
    IIRC 'P' is Methamphetamine in New Zealand

    I think the key in this case is the opinion of the law professor, "He said the case was unlikely to have been successful if the woman had not pleaded guilty."

    It seems they took a punt on charging her with this offence and she went for it. I find it hard to believe that anyone in their right mind would do so, which raises serious questions about the competence of the mother. Either that or they threatened to charge her with something more serious and she opted for what she thought would be a lesser offence.
  4. stryder09
    What concentration of THC was detected in the breast milk?

    Was it even active THC and not inactive THC carboxylic acid metabolite?
  5. TheBigBadWolf
    Thanks for the clarification on P.

    I have often experienced it in single mums who are drug addicts that they were driven to do things no one in their right mind would do by threatening them with having the kids taken away.
    might point in this direction,- but this is my fantasy, although I believe its not very far from truth.
    LE officials are known to manipulate people into statements to get a case "well done".

    Again.- know your rights,- don't talk to LE.
    ANYthing will be used against you
    , even your date of birth, the daytime and your missing tooth.

    BBW
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