North Carolina native Brianna Lofton, 20, is facing legal action after posting a video of her one year old daughter smoking marijuana on the internet. A version of the video was uploaded by a concerned bystander who saw the original copy on Brianna's social media, then recorded a copy and urged users to track down the woman in question so she could be turned over to the authorities.
The 10-second video clip shows the hand of an adult off-screen holding what appears to be a joint to the child's lips. The child appears to inhale and puff the smoke. It has racked up 1 million views online and led to the eventual arrest of the woman since its upload around December to early January.
20-year-old Brianna Ashanti Lofton, accused of placing a marijuana joint to her infants’ mouth, meets with Wake Co. magistrates. pic.twitter.com/sDzDb59TlI— Gary Cooper (@GaryCooperWTVD) March 21, 2018
Raleigh police launched an investigation after outraged people saw the video on the internet and reported it to police. Brianna Ashanti Lofton was charged with marijuana possession as well as two counts of felony child abuse, according to a police news release. The baby girl was placed with the county's child protective services department, and the police department took to Facebook to thank the public for bringing the video to their attention: “Big thanks to everyone who posted information about the smoking mother and baby,” the post said. “Thanks to your willingness to get involved, the child is now safe and the mother is in police custody.”
The news comes fresh off the back of a case in Indonesia where a father hwas been reported to the police for forcing his child to smoke cigarettes and photographing it. Muzammil Slamah, 36, put the lit cigarette in his 9 month old son's mouth on Madura Island, to the west of Indonesia and got his wife to take a picture and post it online.
Slamah thought it would be a funny prank but the photo was spotted by eagle-eyed police offices who tried to prosecute but found there was no official law relating to the act. Local news outlets explained that there was no precise charge in Indonesian law of encouraging children to smoke but the father could face up to six months in jail under the Child Protection Act.