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New Zealand mother gives baby drugs through breast milk

Published on Oct 27, 2012 12:21 PM

WELLINGTON(AFP) - A New Zealand woman has admitted giving her three-month-old baby cannabis - through her breast milk.

The 29-year-old, from the North Island town of Wanganui, was sentenced to six months' supervision after pleading guilty to administering the drug to her baby, the Wanganui Chronicle reported on Saturday. Police, who arrested the woman following a search of her house for drugs, said her actions amounted to child abuse.

However University of Auckland law professor Warren Brookbanks said it was unlikely the case would have succeeded had the woman denied the charge. "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," Mr Brookbanks said.

"In the absence of both of those mental elements, it would be impossible to prove a relevant administration of the drug," he added.