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Daleville mom still has custody of baby exposed to marijuana

DALEVILLE (AP) — A Daleville mother charged with reckless endangerment after her infant tested positive for marijuana still has custody of the child, but officials say current legislation prevents them from taking action.

Shelia D. Channel, 23, was arrested on March 6 after the baby she delivered on Feb. 15 at Medical Center Enterprise tested positive for marijuana. Channel was released after posting a $500 bond the same day.

Dale County District Attorney Kirke Adams said it must be proved that the motherís inhalation was intentional.

Adams said a mother can say she didnít know it was marijuana she was smoking.

ďWeíre currently working on legislation that will make laws pertaining to this particular situation tougher so that when we presume a parent has been using marijuana, then that will be enough for the prosecution to prove the case,Ē he said.

The Dale County Department of Human Resources contacted the Daleville Police Department about Channelís case.

DHR director Sylvia Dodgen said there have been at least four similar cases involving babies in Dale County since January.

The department is required to make a Child Abuse and Neglect Assessment and talk to all parties involved.

Dodgen said DHR is then required to do a safety and development plan to ensure the child will be safe in his or her current surroundings.

The department DHR is required to file a petition to place him or her in foster care if that canít be done.


Information from: The Dothan Eagle

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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