CEDAR FALLS – A Cedar Falls woman accused of medicating her 7-year-old daughter with marijuana has been sentenced to probation.
Samara Anne Houston, 35, pleaded guilty to delivery of marijuana, and on Thursday Judge Stephen Clarke formalized the plea agreement that sentenced her to five years in prison, but suspended it and gave her two to five years of probation. She also is expected to plead guilty to a misdemeanor child endangerment charge in connection with the same investigation.
Clarke noted corrections officials also recommended probation.
Fines were suspended, but Houston will face a 180-day driver’s license suspension.
Houston had admitted to providing marijuana to her daughter — apparently without consulting a doctor — but a hair test was negative for marijuana, said Assistant County Attorney Jeremy Westendorf.
The test, however, was positive for methamphetamine, he said. He said it was unclear how meth had entered the girl’s system.
Clarke noted the child has been removed from Houston’s care, and there is a restraining order that allows the mother to see the child with visits supervised by the Iowa Department of Human Services.
Defense attorney Brian Johnson told the court Houston has mental health issues and has been obtaining treatment.
According to court records, school officials contacted DHS in January 2017 over concerns Houston had been smoking marijuana with her daughter.
When approached by DHS workers, Houston initially denied providing marijuana to the child but then said the child smoked marijuana about once a month.
“The defendant also stated that she did not see anything wrong with what she was doing because she believed the marijuana helps her daughter, who she stated is special needs,” police wrote in court records seeking charges against Houston.
Police seized marijuana from the home, record state.
Houston was arrested for child endangerment in January, and authorities filed the felony charge in May. In October, while awaiting the outcome of the charges, Waterloo police arrested Houston during a traffic stop where officers found a glass pipe containing meth, according to court records.