One grandma in Australia found healing benefits through cannabis-infused butter, but it backfired when her teen great-grandson used it to bake cupcakes and shared them at school.
Pam Annette Bickerton, 74, was sentenced May 4 after her teen great-grandson used her cannabis-infused butter to bake cupcakes and share them to classmates at school in South Australia.
The Adelaide Advertiser reports that Bickerton made the cannabis-infused butter to control her sleeping disorder, and it worked, the jury heard at an April 19 court hearing.
Bickerton says she was halfway asleep when her unnamed teen grandson asked if he could use some of the cannabutter. “Still in a state of tiredness and unfortunately … she said ‘go for it—just make sure that you clean up afterwards’,” her lawyer said in court.
When police responded to the incident and arrived at Bickerton’s home in the weeks after, she admitted that she still had three bags of cannabutter in her freezer and two bongs, which were immediately seized.
Magistrate Justin Wickens, however, was not impressed with the defense, saying that Bickerton should’ve known better.
“Police became aware of an allegation that a student was selling cupcakes laced with cannabis at [the school after the students] presented at the sick bay displaying symptoms consistent with cannabis consumption,” Magistrate Justin Wickens said. “Police spoke to two students who disclosed that [another student] was providing the cannabis-laced cakes.”
The judge asked her to consider the weight of her alleged crime. “This is very serious offending and supplying drugs to minors is a very serious offense,” he said.
Bickerton pleaded guilty to one count of supplying or administering a controlled drug to a child before appearing in the Adelaide Magistrates Court.
The great-grandmother was sentenced on Thursday. Bickerton faced a jail sentence of 3.5 years behind bars, but dropped in favor of pleading guilty and getting a good-behavior bond.
No charges were given to her great grandson for distributing the cupcakes.
Cannabis Reform in Australia
Medical cannabis is legal Australia-wide with a prescription and under certain restrictions. Cannabis is a scheduled substance in the county, regulated by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration).
Cannabis reform for adult use in Australia continues to push forward. A recent report has revealed Australia’s plans to approach cannabis legalization within the next few years.
The Australian Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) recently released a proposal exploring two options on how to approach cannabis legalization. It was commissioned to explore what legalization could look like through the request of Sen. David Shoebridge and the Australian Greens Party, also referred to as the Greens.
According to the PBO’s report, the first option would establish the creation of the Cannabis National Agency (CANA), which would act as the sole wholesaler between producers and retailers, set wholesale prices on cannabis, and issue licenses to potential cannabis business owners. The second option contains all provisions from the first option, except for the final recommendation, which would change the excise tax to 15% instead of 25%.
Grandmas and Infused Edibles
Another grandma made headlines for helping the sick with her cannabis-infused edibles. Mary Jane Rathbun, aka “Brownie Mary,” helped people suffering from HIV and chemotherapy with cannabis-infused edibles. At her peak, Rathbun was baking 600 infused brownies a week at $20 per dozen.
She helped to decriminalize cannabis as well. In 1992, Mary testified to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors about the benefits of cannabis, leading to a resolution to make medical cannabis possession the “lowest priority” in arrests and prosecution.