A 3-year-old California boy ended up in the hospital over the weekend after he got into his grandma’s special chocolate chip cookies while no one was looking.
Little did he know, the cookies were not for kids. They were laced with a medical marijuana concentrate, police said.
The grandmother, who has been diagnosed with cancer, had a doctor’s recommendation for marijuana to treat her pain and to help her sleep, Sgt. Phil Gomez said. Days before, she had baked THC oil into a batch of cookies and tucked them away in a garage refrigerator. THC is the active chemical in marijuana.
Murrieta police were called out to the family’s house in the 24000 block of Cambria Lane about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 30, after the toddler did not wake up despite a long night’s sleep and the family realized he might have eaten the cookies.
An aunt had been babysitting the boy and his younger sibling Friday while the father was out, Gomez said. When the father returned that afternoon, he noticed crumbs on the garage floor but assumed the child’s grandmother had been into the cookies.
The boy was playing and seemed fine, but he fell asleep about 5 p.m., Gomez said. The family did not become alarmed until the next morning when the child was still asleep at 9:30 a.m., Gomez said. He was breathing but they couldn’t wake him up.
At that point, Gomez said, the father mentioned the cookie crumbs and the family put two and two together.
The grandmother told police that a silver-dollar-size bite had been enough to make her sleep.
The boy was admitted to a hospital for observation and later released.
“No one knows how much he ate,” Gomez said.
The family suspects the toddler wandered into the garage through a side door while playing in the backyard, Gomez said. They didn’t realize the boy knew there was a refrigerator in the garage, much less worry the child would get into it, he said.
“It’s just kind of like the perfect storm,” Gomez said.
Police did not release the names of the family members involved because no one has been arrested and the incident is still under investigation.
Investigators are awaiting the results of toxicology tests.
If marijuana byproducts are found in the boy’s system, Gomez said, family members could potentially face a child endangerment charge.
Riverside County child protective services was notified of the incident, police said.
Gomez said the boy’s family was forthcoming about what had happened.
Aside from the cookie incident, he said, it appeared the child had been well cared for.
“It’s unfortunate that they didn’t take better steps to keep those cookies out of reach of the child,” Gomez said.
The grandmother told police she won’t repeat the mistake, Gomez said.
“She claims she’s not going to make them ever again.”