Man Faces Child Endangerment Charges After Child Eats Pot Cookies

On May 1, an Inner Parkside woman arrived home from a party her three kids had attended, held by the father of her children's school friends. Soon she noticed that her 4-year-old daughter was acting strange. "I started calling her name, and she wouldn't look at me," the woman recalls. "She would just look off in some other direction and laugh."

As her daughter began to act more and more, well, stoned, the woman recalled an odd encounter. As she was leaving the party, Mark Friesen, the 37-year-old host, had approached her and given her a small bag with some treats inside. "These are adult cookies," he allegedly said to the woman. She began to suspect that her daughter had accidentally eaten marijuana cookies at the party.

The mother, whose name SF Weekly is withholding to protect the identity of her daughter, called an ambulance as the girl appeared to become catatonic. At the hospital, the girl's stomach was pumped. "We got to the emergency room and she ended up having two seizures," the woman says. "She was basically unresponsive for 12 hours. It wasn't until the next afternoon that she woke up.

"It was horrible," she adds. "When the fire truck came, I thought for sure she wasdying."

As a result of the incident, Friesen was charged by the San Francisco District Attorney's office with a felony count of child endangerment and a felony count related to the sale, transportation, or giving away of marijuana. He referred questions from a reporter to his attorney, who declined to comment on the case. "We can't really comment on an ongoing prosecution," says Matthew Siroka, Friesen's lawyer. "As far as the girl goes, it's obviously a terrible thing, and we feel terrible that she had to go to the hospital and the family had to suffer."

The girl has fully recovered, according to her mother. Friesen's fate is less certain. He pleaded not guilty to the charges against him in May, and his next appearance in courtis scheduled for Sept. 21,according to DA spokesmanSeth Steward.

The victim's mother says she was upset less by the fact that pot cookies were available in Friesen's kitchen — it was actuallythe girl's father who gave her one, ignorant of its psychotropic properties — than about Friesen's unwillingness to help after the fact. When the woman called Friesen as her daughter became sick to find out what was in the cookies,"He just started laughing," she alleges. "He said, 'Oh, what's the big deal? Let her sleep it off.' And then he hung up."

In a city famous for tolerating pot consumption of all varieties, this Inner Parkside family's ordeal was a reminder that neither bud nor its users are always kind.

 
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15 comments
Anonymous
Anonymous

knowing Mark, he is a good man and this sounds like the fault of the 4 year olds parents! not Mark. Mark has children of his own and wouldnt hand out anything like that without telling the parents

Nicole Allison
Nicole Allison

I think that the mother was covering her ass just incase anyone found out about her daughter eating the cookie. Pot has not ever killed anyone, ever, sure they might have made some bad choices due to the effects of the drug but it doesn't kill you, and you CAN'T overdose from it. She was young, she was small, but that still wasn't enough pot to kill her. From what I heard from clinical studies you have to smoke you own body weight in a hour to get even close to killing yourself, and since smoking it you end up just getting the thc crystals off the pot, can you imagine how much you would have to consume to get the same effect?

RobertSF
RobertSF

Too many unanswered questions in this story. Why would the guy give the mom some pot cookies without kowing if the mom was into pot? If the mom didn't know, why didn't she ask what the guy meant by "adult cookies?" I think the mom knew what the cookies were when the guy handed them to her, and I think she knew before she went to the party that the guy used pot. I think the mom was the negligent party here. She should have been watching what the little girl was eating. And I think when she called the guy, she was acting and pretending she didn't know.

I also think the trip to the hospital was unnecessary and traumatic to the little girl. Why pump her stomach out if she's already stoned? That wouldn't bring her down. They should have let her sleep it off as long as her vital signs were within range.

StopBeingStupid
StopBeingStupid

Everyone is missing the point that the child was NOT in any real danger. It caused a temporary change in mental perception. The seizures could have been caused by everyone panicking and freaking out, which then caused the girl to do the same... then pumping out her stomach... please. All this could have been avoided if they'd just done what they were told "let her sleep it off." What a load of rubbish. Had the girl drank just 1/4 bottle of whisky, she would be dead right now.

Lynn83
Lynn83

I find this article very troubling for many reasons.

First and foremost, the parents act as if they were totally appalled that their child ate the cookies yet the mother remembered after the fact that he gave her some adult themed goodies. Very suspect to accept such a gift, and then subsequently bring them home, if you are not familiar with marijuana laced goodies. Just saying!!!

Additionally the dad ALLEGEDLY gave the child the cookie unknowingly!!! Give me a break this is California, with some of the best weed in the world, I don't care what you cook it with at the end of the day it still smells like ummmmm I don't know....WEED! If you accidentally left it within the child's reach then YOU bear the responsibility of your child eating it! Period!

Lastly, this is a non-story. I am glad the child is okay but really this is ridiculous and sounds as though the parents were covering up their tracks after accepting the cookies, bringing them home, and then giving one to their kid, whether accidentally or not. Just Stupid.

Miriamswan
Miriamswan

Obviously the district attorney doesn't think it's a non-story. This a short article which I am sure does not provide all the information involved in the case. Plus, the little girl ate the cookies at the party, not at her own house. Maybe you should read a little more closely before you rush to judgement...

MrEFQ
MrEFQ

Hate to break it to you Lynn, but good pot cookies dont smell like pot.

GP3K
GP3K

I find it troubling that Friesen is being prosecuted for this. The circumstances under which the girl ate the cookie are not made very clear. The girl's father gave her the cookie, but where did he get it?

Did he get it from Friesen himself, and if so, was he not also told what they were?

Was the cookie just sitting on a counter in plain view in Friesen's house?

Did the girl's father comb through the kitchen looking for a cookie to give his daughter until he found one?

Supposing the father had given his daughter a clear liquid from an unlabeled bottle that he found in Friesen's house, would Friesen then be potentially liable for poisoning the girl as well?

BobJones
BobJones

Presumably the DA has a lot more information about this incident than this article reveals and, based upon that, determined prosecution was appropriate. Certainly there are many overzealous DAs out there but SF DAs are not known for charging folks when it's not called for (if anything they are know for the opposite).

SFMom
SFMom

Wait a Minute!- do not generalize "In a city famous for tolerating pot consumption" speaking as a long time San Francisco resident, parent and grandparent let me assure your readers that at no time would 'we' condone this kind of behavior under any conditions.As far as I am concerned, marijuana should be strictly monitored, taxed and used for medical purposes only.

ctsmith
ctsmith

Sounds like the father should be charged then. Its his stupidness that let the kid eat the weed brownies.

BobJones
BobJones

Yeah he should have known the cookies available at a toddler party were "happy cookies" since that is standard protocol. One should always assume all cookies have pot in them - that's reasonable.

GP3K
GP3K

I agree that the mother and father should share some criminal liability.

BobJones
BobJones

GP3K, it's called sarcasm.

 
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