A young mother and father are in hot water after being caught red-handed while giving their 22-month-old son marijuana from a water pipe or “bong” as they are commonly known. Almost as if feeding the child pot smoke, cell phone video footage portrays the sorry scene of the mother and child, with the water pipe too big for the kid to even hold. Centralia, Washington police reportedly received the video anonymously. After viewing the alarming footage, they subsequently obtained a search warrant and served it on the family involved, the Tyler J. Lee and Rachelle Braaten family. Only after 5 months did the video footage surface.
Both parents involved were arrested and taken to jail. Meanwhile, the family’s children, including the 22-month-old, were taken into custody by Child Protective Services. Mrs. Braaten was charged for the offense, facing one count of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance to a minor and one count of manufacture of marijuana. As a result of the raid, police recovered 40 marijuana plants and illegal firearms. The name of the child has not been released, probably to protect his identity.
Official reports detail the parents’ attempt to pass off their idiocy as a practical joke gone wrong. During that time the parents said they felt deep regret and said they thought that the child wasn’t harmed by the marijuana smoke. The video, which some may find disturbing, portrays the young child leaning backward and coughing after inhaling the drug smoke. All the while, adults in the room laugh.
The child’s father claims that he is a medical marijuana user, so presumably the marijuana was his. However, even if he had a legal right to be smoking the drug, he must have known that sharing it is against the law. So is medicating in the same area as children. I know that because I remember that when I obtained my medical marijuana license I recall the prescribing physician specially instructing me to light up only away from children. Marijuana is just like any other prescription that someone gets from a doctor – it must be handled responsibly. A doctor is prescribing this drug to act as a medicine just for you; it must not be shared with anyone else. Mr. Lee was released Monday with charges pending.
Initially denying responsibility, the child’s mother said that succumbing to peer pressure was her motivation for the stunt. She claims a room full of adult pot smokers coaxed her to administer the hit. Mrs. Braaten does have a police record after being charged two years ago for allegedly assaulting one of her family members.
Whatever excuses or rationale the parents concoct, there is no excuse. They are clearly negligent. I hope that this example serves to alert other parents of the potential consequences of such actions.
By Kevin G.
Sources: “Shocking Video of Mother Letting Her 22-Month-Old Son Smoke Marijuana from a BONG.” Daily Mail. Daily Mail UK, 12 Mar. 2013. Web. 12 Mar. 2013.
Filed under: Alcohol and Drugs, Featured, Latest News · Tags: bong, Child Protective Services, children, Controlled Substances, marijuana, Medical Marijuana, negligence, peer pressure, Police, pot, water pipe