Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Dad Hides Pot in Baby's Diaper, Gets Busted by Daycare

When it comes to charges of drug possession, there is possession and then there is possession. Your garden-variety case of possession can be illustrated in the current (as opposed to the two previous) Paris Hilton drug possession charges. Recently pulled over in Vegas and charged with felony possession of cocaine, Paris tried the old, "it's not my Chanel bag" defense. Too bad she Tweeted a picture of the exact bag when she purchased it in July.

But to come to the more interesting case of possession currently in the news, a man has been arrested over posession of marijuana. Possession of small amounts of marijuana is most often a misdemeanor charge and sometimes carries only very minor repercussions. Not this time, because in this case the drugs were kinda found in the possession of the man's 1 year-old child. Ooops.

According to CBS affiliate KWTX, when daycare workers in Waco, Texas, went to change the diaper of the 1 year-old daughter of David Shepard, they found a small baggy of marijuana tucked inside a spare diaper. Shepard, 23, was arrested on September 4 and charged with abandoning or endangering a child. Authorities are also looking for the child's mother.

The fact that the drugs were more or less in possession of a baby takes this case out of the usual realm of drug charges and nudges it into the area of child welfare. A general definition of child neglect or endangerment says it occurs when parents or guardians willfully fail to meet a child's basic needs, including food, shelter, clothes, medical treatment and supervision. Although laws vary from sate to state, it seems Texas authorities do not include recreational controlled substances in that "basic needs" description.

Shepard was released from the McLennan County Jail on Sunday afternoon after posting bond.

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