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Mom Arrested After Toddler Eats THC-Laced Mac and Cheese

Photograph by Twenty20

Mac and cheese is generally a no-drama dinner—unless your toddler somehow got her hands on mac and cheese made with cannabutter—that is, butter laced with THC. Arizona mom Alaina Marie Limpert told police she made the meal laced with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical in cannabis that gets someone high, as a treat for her husband. She said she didn't know her daughter had ingested it.

Two days later, someone in Limpert's home notified the Arizona Department of Child Safety that the child consumed THC butter while eating mac and cheese with her dad. Hospital staff later confirmed that they found THC in the toddler's system. The 25-year-old mom was arrested early Thursday morning on one count of child abuse, and the department took custody of all three of her kids.

According to the Tempe police report and the witness, neither parent took the 21-month-old child to emergency care. Instead, "It was witnessed inside of the residence that (they) both laughed about the side effects the child experienced during that time and then proceeded to place her into their backyard pool to use the cold water to 'shock' her."

Dad Anthony Limpert, who has not been charged, according to NBC affiliate 12 News, told the Arizona news outlet that it was all an honest mistake and neither of them would intentionally harm their kids.

"Nobody would ever laugh about that. That's ridiculous," he said, claiming reports about them laughing were not true and saying they didn't notify authorities because their child didn't seem sick. "We gave her water. We watched her. We made sure she was OK. There were no other side effects other than she seemed a bit more giggly."

At the Limperts' home, police found three large tubs of THC butter on the top shelf of the fridge, two marijuana grow tents in the garage and numerous bongs, pipes, hash oils, mushrooms and other drug paraphernalia.

The most common overdose incidents in children occur with edible marijuana, such as brownies and gummies, which can have a stronger and prolonged effect on kids. "Because edible products have very high amounts of marijuana, the symptoms are more severe on a small child. Many young children who consume marijuana edibles require hospital admission due to the severity of their symptoms," according to Children's Hospital Colorado.

We still don't know what the long-term effects of acute marijuana exposure on children are, since it has not yet been systematically studied.

Alaina was released on Friday but was ordered to have no contact with minors. She's scheduled to appear in court April 19. Anthony is meeting with DCS today regarding his children.

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