NZ woman found guilty of breast-feeding child marijuana


A woman smokes marijuana in an Amsterdam cafe. A former government drug advisor told MPs Tuesday that decriminalizing cannabis could reduce alcohol consumption by up to 25 percent.


Christopher Furlong

A 29-year-old New Zealand mother has admitted giving her three-month-year-old baby marijuana through her breast milk, reported New Zealand's Whanganui Chronicle.

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A district court sentenced her to six months' supervision on charges of providing drugs to someone younger than 18 in what authorities say is the first case of its kind in the country, said the Chronicle

She plead guilty to the charges, and legal experts said if she had not done so the case would have been difficult to support. 

The woman's Whanganui home was raided by drug enforcement authorities, resulting in her and her partner's arrest. She faced no other charges but her partner stands accused of drug-related offenses, police officials told the local Whanganui Chronicle

Sergeant Andrew McDonald told the Chronicle the situation in the home amounted to "family violence" and the woman was taken into custody because it was "clear this baby and its mother needed help."

"People often believe drug-related activities are victimless, but it affects the people around them," he said, according to The New Zealand Herald

However, University of Auckland law professor Warren Brookbanks told Agence France-Presse that if the woman had not plead guilty, prosecutors would have had to prove she knew the drugs were in her system and she had meaningful intent to transfer them to her child. 

"In the absence of both of those mental elements, it would be impossible to prove a relevant administration of the drug," Brookbanks concluded to AFP