KEY POINTS

  • Police said Pishby was charged after her two children were hospitalized from being able to access and eat her marijuana edibles
  • The children became sick from the consumption of the drugs and were hospitalized on April 9
  • A police spokesperson said this is the first time in recent memory that a child had gained access to their parent's drugs in Pennington County

A 36-year-old mother from Rapid City, South Dakota, has been charged after her children were hospitalized after gaining access to and eating her marijuana edibles, police said Wednesday.

Sandra Pishby was arrested after she was accused of leaving drugs in an area that was accessible to her children, age 10 and 11, the Pennington County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. Police said the children "ate what looked like candy and became severely ill" while attending View Elementary School on April 9.

According to the statement, "The amount of the marijuana edibles consumed resulted in a rapid decline in their health and cognitive ability, to include causing hallucinations."

Officials from the school called for emergency medical support and both children were hospitalized overnight. The children have since recovered, police said.

"This certainly raises the red flag about the dangers of marijuana edibles getting into the hands of children," Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom said in the statement.

"These drugs target our youth and are intentionally designed to look like candy. Their potency can cause serious health issues to young children," he continued.

Pishby was charged with possession of a controlled substance and contributing to the delinquency of a minor or abuse neglect of a minor. She turned herself in Wednesday and posted bail or bond, the Rapid City Journal reported. 

Court records show police responded to the incident last month but state prosecutors only charged Pishby Tuesday.

The charges were announced on the same day the South Dakota Supreme Court heard arguments on a lawsuit filed by Thom and another law enforcement official challenging the state's Amendment A, which would have legalized recreational marijuana use in South Dakota by July 1.

"The Supreme Court hearing had no bearing on this case," Helene Duhamel, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office and a state senator, said, according to the Journal. 

Duhamel said this is the first time in recent memory that a child gained access to their parent's drugs in Pennington County.

"We checked with several school resource officers and liaison officers involved in juvenile law enforcement, no one can remember anything like this case," Duhamel said. "This is the first time that students were so intoxicated at school that we needed to call medical support."

smoke-1216032_1920 Representation. The announcement of the charges coincided with the South Dakota Supreme Court's hearing on a lawsuit challenging the state's Amendment A, which would have legalized recreational use of marijuana by July 1. Photo: Pixabay