Christopher Finlayson was arrested by the Polk County Sheriff's Office and charged with aggravated child abuse.
Christopher Finlayson was arrested by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and charged with aggravated child abuse.

WINTER HAVEN — As the state of Florida prepares to vote on a ballot referendum on Nov. 4 that would legalize marijuana for medicinal use, the sheriff of one Central Florida county is blaming pot as the main culprit in a vicious child abuse case.
Christopher Finlayson, 24, was arrested after sheriff’s deputies say he threw an 11-month old baby across a room.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said after the arrest that Finlayson admitted smoking pot before the incident happened.
“This suspect admitted to smoking a blunt and a half of marijuana, staying up all night then becoming enraged enough to throw a baby across a room just because it was crying,” Judd said.
The sheriff added that he does not believe marijuana is a harmless drug, and that this horrific case proves it.
“This is just another example of marijuana abuse linked to child abuse,” the sheriff said.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said the incident happened in the early morning hours on Friday, June 6. That was when deputies arrested Finlayson, who lives at 5600 Cypress Gardens Road in Winter Haven, and charged him with aggravated child abuse. Deputies say Finlayson had thrown the 11-month old baby across a room. According to the sheriff’s office, the baby suffered a skull fracture, two broken wrists and five fractured ribs.
Donna C. Wood, the public information officer for the sheriff’s office, reported that the baby had been left in Finlayson’s care while the child’s mother went to the store on Thursday night.
“When the mother returned around 7 p.m., the baby was unresponsive,” Wood noted in her report. “The mother questioned Finlayson, who told her the baby had hit its head on a play pen.”
The mother rushed her baby to Winter Haven Hospital, and after examining the baby, hospital staff contacted the sheriff’s office.
Finlayson was questioned by detectives, and according to Wood, he admitted using marijuana.
The suspect told detectives that “he had smoked a ‘blunt and a half’ of marijuana on Wednesday, and had been up the night before, and that he ‘lost it’ and in a moment of rage and frustration threw the baby across the room when he could not stop the baby’s cries,” Wood wrote in her report. “Finlayson told detectives he told the baby, ‘I’ll give you something to cry about,’ before throwing the baby into the air toward the end of a bed causing the baby to hit face first on the floor.”
Deputies also reported that Finlayson admitted to them that on a few other occasions, he had yelled at the baby in an attempt to “scare” the infant into being quiet.
Finlayson has a prior criminal record. He was arrested in June 2013 by Winter Haven Police for battery, criminal mischief and tampering with or harassing a witness.
He was booked into the Polk County Jail on the aggravated child abuse charge, on no bond.
The baby is in stable condition. The infant was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital BayCare System in Tampa for continued medical treatment.
Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature approved a bill to allow patients with cancer and who have conditions that result in chronic seizures to use cannabis as part of their medical treatment. Patients can administer the medicine through pills, oils, vaporization or by smoking it.
In November, Florida voters could decide to go a step further, by approving Amendment Two.
Known as the “Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions” measure, it would allow individuals suffering from numerous illnesses — including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis, among others — to use marijuana if their physicians determine that its health benefits outweigh any possible risks.

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  1. There are only two groups responsible for 95% of the violence surrounding marijuana and it is criminals over their turf and law enforcement searching for the big bust.
    That is why wardens in the prisons of 2 countries are applying for the “confiscated marijuana” to be given to the inmates to reduce violence.
    Marijuana does not cause violence any more than it causes stupid,,,however it doesn’t fix stupid either but it can quell violence.

  2. This is ridiculous – you REALLY think it was pot that caused him to do this, not some mental illness? He smoked a blunt and half, and stayed up all night? That alone doesn’t make sense, people usually fall asleep pretty easily after smoking – so something else is not right and we are not being told.

    Cop will say anything to try to stop this Amendment. Vote YES on #2 in November!

    Check out our website if you are looking to work in the Florida Medical Cannabis Industry!

  3. the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING! 13

    ENLIGHTENMENT…i was a evil brainwashed, mean, christian conservative until i tried it at 17 years old…i hated gays, immigrants, women’s rights, blacks, marijuana, i was Rush Limbaugh’s #1 fan….until i smoked marijuana….changed the world

    1000s of my friends and family have grown 30-99 plants for 20 years, thanks for keeping prices high and NORCAL wealthy…#1 crop in cali = $15 Billion Untaxed…

    “any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death” – cali secret 420

    from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

    20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary….nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states and more blacks are in prison then were slaves before the civil war…even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice…no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol…not 1….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…

    Deaths by Alcohol: Millions
Deaths by Tobacco: Millions

    Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade
Deaths by Guns: Millions
Deaths by the food we are fed: Millions
Deaths by Marijuana: 0, ever…they are killing my American family while denying freedom

    love and freedom forever


  4. Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, – Your Days Are Numbered. Find new careers before you don’t have one.

  5. Fear of Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is unfounded. Not based on any science or fact whatsoever. So please all you prohibitionists, we beg you to give your scare tactics, “Conspiracy Theories” and “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable Legalization of Marijuana a rest. Nobody is buying them anymore these days. Okay?

    Furthermore, if all you get when you look into that nice, big and shiny, crystal ball of yours, while wondering about the future of marijuana legalization, is horror, doom, and despair, well then I suggest you return that thing as quickly as possible and reclaim the money you shelled out for it, since it is obviously defective.

    The prohibition of marijuana has not decreased the supply nor the demand for marijuana at all. Not one single iota, and it never will. Just a huge and complete waste of our tax dollars to continue criminalizing citizens for choosing a natural, non-toxic, relatively benign plant proven to be much safer than alcohol.

    If you’re going to take it upon yourself to worry about “saving us all” from ourselves, then you need to start with the drug that causes more death and destruction than every other drug in the world COMBINED, which is alcohol!

    Why do you feel the continued need to vilify and demonize marijuana when you could more wisely focus your efforts on a real, proven killer, alcohol, which again causes more destruction, violence, and death than all other drugs, COMBINED?

    You really should get your priorities straight and or practice a little live and let live. You’ll live longer, happier, and healthier, with a lot less stress if you refrain from being hell bent on trying to control others through Draconian Marijuana Laws.

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