Mom accused of allowing toddler to smoke pot pleads not guilty

Mom accused of allowing toddler to smoke pot pleads not guilty
CHEHALIS, Wash. -- The Centralia mother accused of allowing her 22-month-old son to smoke marijuana from a bong was in Lewis County court on Thursday.

Cell phone video uncovered earlier this week appears to show Rachelle Braaten's young son smoking from a bong, and prosecutors do not believe it was the first time he was exposed to drugs.

Prosecutors say a conversation captured on the cell phone video leads them to believe the boy may have smoked pot before.

"There's somebody saying, 'He does this every time,' and so that's obviously some cause for concern because it indicates that perhaps maybe this is something that's been repetitive," said Lewis County Prosecutor Shane O'Rourke.

Braaten's attorney, Sam Groberg, said it's too soon to say what happened inside the Centralia home.

"There's a number of witnesses that were there that have been involved with this for a while, and I don't know what all their stories are, so we're just at the start," Groberg said.

After she was arrested, Braaten, 24, told police she felt peer pressured into letting her son smoke pot, according to court documents. The video shows several people in the house that night.

Child Protective Services removed the toddler and another child from the house and Braaten is under court order to have no contact with the children.

Officers also found 40 marijuana plants and a number of guns. Braaten's fiance, Tyler J. Lee, was arrested on suspicion of manufacture of marijuana and three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, according to police.

Prosecutors say the kids are now being tested to find out how much expose they had to the marijuana.

Braaten pleaded not guilty to a charge of delivery of a controlled substance to a minor. Her trial is set for May.