pot-laced brownies

Little girl ‘struggled to eat for months’ after being poisoned with pot-laced brownies

In 2018, a cafe in Perth, Australia served a family pot-laced brownies. The brownies put both the five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son in the hospital. Still, three years after the incident, the little girl is afraid to eat out at many places. (1)

Cafe Served Family Pot-Laced Brownies

When Sharon Hoystead and Michael Maxwell took their five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son to a local cafe, they expected to have a nice family treat. They didn’t expect to end up in the hospital with both their young children poisoned and their daughter afraid to eat for months. This, however, is exactly what happened to them when the cafe served them pot-laced brownies. (1)


Hoystead described the experience as one of the scariest times of her life. Though both she and Maxwell understood what was happening to them, the children did not. In throws of hallucinations, their daughter let out a bone-chilling, blood-curdling scream before sobbing profusely. (1)


“It was very frightening; I was trying to calm Emily; she would calm down, and then she would just open her eyes and give out this blood-curdling scream,” the mom recalled. “Her heart was racing so much, that I actually couldn’t count it … I was terrified, and so was Emily.” (2)

Read: Veteran Sentenced To Life in Prison for Selling $30 of Marijuana Will Be Freed


They Went Immediately To The Hospital

The marijuana took longer to hit the parents, so at first, they didn’t know what was actually happening to their children. (2)


“I sat her up on the bench, and she said ‘Dad, my eyes are going’ … she said ‘everything’s jumping’, she said ‘the walls are different colors, it’s pink, it’s blue’, and then the last one, which really scared me actually, was ‘my vision’s coming and going, I can’t see anything’,” said Maxwell. “At that point, the only thing I could think of was it was something going on with the brain, you know a bleed, or something really serious.” (2)

Both parents began feeling the effects of the pot-laced brownies after they were already at the hospital. It was during this time, when their children tested positive for marijuana, that they realized what had likely happened. (2) Hoystead, herself, became very paranoid with hallucinations that hit her after they arrived at the hospital. (1)


“I thought they were going to take me away, and I was never going to see my kids again because I knew what was happening to me, and I wasn’t able to control it, and I knew I couldn’t stop it from happening again,” she recalled in court. (1)

Maxwell went back to the cafe the next day to purchase another one of the brownies to prove in court that they were laced with pot. The courts recently charged the owner of Bada Bing Cafe, Nathan Sharp, for selling the brownies. They fined him $15,000 on top of the $250,000 in court fees that he has to pay. Sharp said he made them earlier that year but threw them away and denied selling them to the family. He is appealing the court’s decision. (1)


The Daughter Still Has Fear

Being hospitalized for cannabis intoxication is a scary situation for an adult who knowingly took the product. For a three and five-year-old, it is downright terrifying. The event traumatized their daughter so deeply that she could barely eat for months, fearing the episode would recur. Even still, three years later, she is scared to go to new restaurants. (1)


“We tend to go to the same cafes nowadays, we have half a dozen that we go to and that’s good for her, she feels safe there so she doesn’t ask,” explained Maxwell. (1)

Though the courts gave Sharp a spent conviction, which means that he will not have a criminal record, he is still appealing the fines. (1)


Keep Reading: Scientist: Cannabis-Based Antibiotics Could Be Available Within Five Years



  1. Little girl poisoned by a pot brownie ‘struggled to eat for months’, parents say.” ABC. Evelyn Manfield. May 2021.
  2. Mother and children served marijuana-laced brownie at Bada Bing cafe, Perth family says.” ABC. Joanna Trilling, Rebecca Trigger. July 2019.
Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.