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Mom who gave 5-year-old pot brownie gets probation, parenting class

OROVILLE — A judge Wednesday scolded a Chico mother for giving a marijuana-laced brownie to her 5-year-old daughter and ordered her to complete a parenting class as a condition of probation.

“Everyone knows not to feed marijuana to a child,” Butte County Superior Court Judge Robert Glusman told the single mother. “I hope you appreciate the degree of harm you put your daughter in.”

Madeline McChesney, 32, earlier pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor child endangerment charge.

A Butte County jury which heard evidence in the case, had acquitted her on a more serious felony charge, but was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the lesser count on which she was sentenced Wednesday.

McChesney claimed through her lawyer, Jodea Foster, that she didn’t realize the brownie she gave her 5-year-old daughter before taking her to school last April 17 contained pot.

The Chico mother maintained a roommate who had a doctor’s recommendation to use medical-marijuana, normally kept drug-laced brownies on top of the refrigerator, not on the counter, where she found it that morning, Foster told the jury.

When the youngster reported feeling “icky … and swirly,” and staff at Rosedale School in Chico were unable to contact her mother, she was taken to Enloe Medical Center, where traces of marijuana were detected in the youngster’s system.

Had the case been re-tried, deputy district attorney Kelly Maloy said she advised McChesney’s attorney that her roommates were prepared to
testify they never took the marijuana brownies off the top of the refrigerator.

In return for the mother’s plea, the prosecutor agreed not to request any jail time, but insisted she undergo a parenting class.

At her sentencing Wednesday, the judge who heard her trial, placed her on four years probation, stayed several hundred dollars in fines, ordered her to perform 200 hours community service and complete a one-year “child abuse” course for parents.

McChesney is reportedly going through separate court reunification hearings to try to get her daughter back, who was placed in foster care following the brownie incident.

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