DCSO: Dad, grandma arrested for letting infant chew on bag of pot

A Bend man and his infant daughter’s grandma were arrested Tuesday for giving the child a bag of marijuana to use as a teething toy, according to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp said deputies received information about a video posted on Snapchat, showing a 4-month-old girl sitting in the lap of her father, 18-year-old Ethan Burgess, while she was playing with and chewing on a large plastic bag of marijuana in a house on Navajo Road in Bend.

The video pans across the room and shows the baby’s grandmother, 37-year-old Raechel Gilland, and other adults watching as the baby puts the bag in her mouth, Vander Kamp said.

During the investigation, deputies learned Gilland gave the infant the bag of marijuana because the baby teething and did not have anything else to soothe the baby.

Burgess recorded the scene and posted it to his social media account where it was seen and shared, Vander Kamp said.

Burgess and Gillard were both cited, in lieu of custody, for endangering the welfare of a minor and recklessly endangering another.

The citations were issued in accordance with the Deschutes County Sheriff jail’s COVID-19 protocols designed to protect jail staff and inmates.

Instead of a “physical arrest”, the citation-in-lieu-of-custody releases the person on the promise to appear in court at a specified date and time, Vander Kamp said.

A citation-in-lieu of custody is still an “arrest” and does not discount the seriousness of the alleged crimes, Vander Kamp said.

The Oregon DHS Child Protective Services assisted at the scene and assumed care of the 4-month-old child and a 2-year-old sibling.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office encourages adults to keep cannabis, cannabis products and packaging from way children.

Although Oregon adults can now legally use marijuana, the Oregon Health Authority reports marijuana and its packaging have many chemicals that may negatively affect developing fetuses, babies and young children.

 

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