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Smoking Weed While Pregnant

The use of marijuana during pregnancy is controversial. Anecdotal evidence from pot smokers about the benefits of using marijuana, contrasts with conservative viewpoints. Scientific research that looked into the safety, of can you smoke weed while pregnant,is not conclusive. Considering the chance of harming the baby, it is a better idea not to be smoking weed while pregnant.

The Effects of Smoking Weed While Pregnant *

Some scientific research concludes that smoking weed while pregnant is harmful to the baby. Other research suggests that certain kinds of medical marijuana use during pregnancy may be helpful for certain conditions, such as: 1) reducing nausea caused by morning sickness, 2) decreasing anxiety, and 3) lowering the pain associated with childbirth.

Proponents of these specific types of medical marijuana use base their claims on the evidence that medical marijuana is a good substitute for FDA-approved drugs, which doctors regularly prescribe such as: 1) Diclegis for morning sickness, 2) Paxil or Prozac for anxiety, and 3) Epidurals or anesthesia for pain during childbirth.

Is It Bad to Smoke Weed While Pregnant? *

With few exceptions, an unborn child has exposure to almost everything a pregnant woman takes, eats, drinks, or inhales. Research shows that cannabinoids and THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, cross through the placenta to the unborn child.

Use of Marijuana during the First Trimester *

The early stages of pregnancy are a critical time for the development of the fetus. Women, who are using marijuana when they become pregnant, may not be aware of their pregnancy during the first trimester, unless they take a pregnancy test. When these women become pregnant without realizing it, they may continue to use marijuana without thinking about the unborn child’s exposure.

The American Pregnancy Association notes that Dr. Richard S. Abram, the author of “Will it Hurt the Baby” says that occasional marijuana use in the first trimester is not likely to cause birth defects. Nevertheless, the recommendation is to stop using marijuana once a woman becomes aware that she is pregnant. This reduces the chance of hurting the baby from the side effects of smoking weed while pregnant.

The research concludes that smoking marijuana increases the levels of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the blood. This has the effect of reducing the supply of necessary oxygen to the baby, which may result in a miscarriage, lower birth weight, and a premature birth. Moreover, if the mother is smoking weed while pregnant, after the baby is born the child may experience a developmental delay, as well as have some problems with behavior and learning.smoking weed while pregnant

What Are the Laws Regarding Using Illegal Drugs During Pregnancy? *

As of February 2016, medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and Washington, D.C. Marijuana use for recreational purposes is only legal in the state of Colorado at this time.

The American Pregnancy Association summary on the current state laws, the Guttmacher report, and ProPublica note that in some cases, a pregnant woman can go to jail for child abuse or be forced into rehab for the use of illegal substances, which include marijuana.

Here are the regulations surrounding the use of marijuana and other illegal drugs during pregnancy (as of February 2016):

  • Alabama – Drug use of any kind while pregnant is child abuse and ruled by the Alabama Supreme Court as chemical endangerment of a child.
  • Alaska – Healthcare professionals must report drug use during pregnancy to law enforcement. Testing for drug use and reporting serve as evidence in legal cases of child welfare.
  • Arizona – Healthcare professionals must report drug use during pregnancy to law enforcement. Testing for drug use and reporting serve as evidence in legal cases of child welfare.
  • Arkansas – Drug use during pregnancy, including marijuana, is child abuse and grounds for terminating parental rights.
  • California – Has a targeted program for drug users that are pregnant.
  • Colorado – Medical and recreational marijuana use is legal. Use of drugs, including marijuana, during pregnancy is child abuse and is a reason for the termination of parental rights.
  • Connecticut – Has a targeted program for drug users that are pregnant.
  • Delaware – No specific laws or programs.
  • Florida – Drug use during pregnancy, including marijuana, is child abuse and grounds for terminating parental rights.
  • Georgia – Pregnant women get priority access to general programs.
  • Hawaii – No specific laws or programs.
  • Idaho – No specific laws or programs.
  • Illinois – Healthcare professionals must report drug use during pregnancy to law enforcement. Testing for drug use and reporting serve as evidence in legal cases of child welfare.
  • Indiana – Drug use during pregnancy, including marijuana, is child abuse and grounds for terminating parental rights.
  • Iowa – Healthcare professionals must conduct tests for drug use during pregnancy and report violations to law enforcement. Drug use during pregnancy, including marijuana, is child abuse and grounds for terminating parental rights.
  • Kansas – Pregnant women get priority access to general programs.
  • Kentucky – Healthcare professionals must conduct tests for drug use during pregnancy. There are no specific legal reporting requirements.
  • Louisiana – Healthcare professionals must report drug use during pregnancy to law enforcement. Testing for drug use and reporting serve as evidence in legal cases of child welfare.
  • Maine – When suspecting drug use, reporting to law enforcement is required.
  • Maryland – When suspecting drug use, reporting to law enforcement is required. Has a targeted program for drug users that are pregnant.
  • Massachusetts – Healthcare professionals must report drug use during pregnancy to law enforcement. Testing for drug use and reporting serve as evidence in legal cases of child welfare.
  • Michigan – Healthcare professionals must report drug use during pregnancy to law enforcement. Testing for drug use and reporting serve as evidence in legal cases of child welfare.
  • Minnesota – Healthcare professionals must conduct tests for drug use during pregnancy and report violations to law enforcement. Drug use during pregnancy, including marijuana, is child abuse and grounds for terminating parental rights. Forced admission to an inpatient rehab program is possible.
  • Mississippi – No specific laws or programs.
  • Missouri – Pregnant women are given priority access to general programs.
  • Montana – Healthcare professionals must report drug use during pregnancy to law enforcement. Testing for drug use and reporting serve as evidence in legal cases of child welfare.
  • Nebraska – Has a targeted program for drug users that are pregnant.
  • Nevada – Drug use during pregnancy, including marijuana, is child abuse and grounds for terminating parental rights.
  • New Hampshire – No specific laws or programs.
  • New Jersey – No specific laws or programs.
  • New Mexico – No specific laws or programs.
  • New York – Has a targeted program for drug users that are pregnant.
  • North Carolina – Has a targeted program for drug users that are pregnant.
  • North Dakota – Healthcare professionals must conduct tests for drug use during pregnancy and report violations to law enforcement.
  • Ohio – Has a targeted program for drug users that are pregnant.
  • Oklahoma – Healthcare professionals must report drug use during pregnancy to law enforcement. Testing for drug use and reporting serve as evidence in legal cases of child welfare.
  • Oregon – Has a targeted program for drug users that are pregnant.
  • Pennsylvania – Healthcare professionals must report drug use during pregnancy to law enforcement. Has a targeted program for drug users that are pregnant.
  • Rhode Island – Healthcare professionals must report drug use during pregnancy to law enforcement. Testing for drug use and reporting serve as evidence in legal cases of child welfare.
  • South Carolina – Drug use during pregnancy, including marijuana, is child abuse and grounds for terminating parental rights.
  • South Dakota – Drug use during pregnancy, including marijuana, is child abuse and grounds for terminating parental rights. Forced admission to an inpatient rehab program is possible.
  • Tennessee – It is a crime in this state to use drugs during pregnancy. Pregnant women who use marijuana are subject to prosecution, jail time, and/or forced rehabilitation.
  • Texas – Drug use during pregnancy, including marijuana, is child abuse and grounds for terminating parental rights.
  • Utah – Healthcare professionals must report drug use during pregnancy to law enforcement. Testing for drug use and reporting serve as evidence in legal cases of child welfare.
  • Vermont – No specific laws or programs.
  • Virginia – Healthcare professionals must report drug use during pregnancy to law enforcement. Testing for drug use and reporting serve as evidence in legal cases of child welfare.
  • Washington – Has a targeted program for drug users that are pregnant.
  • West Virginia – No specific laws or programs.
  • Wisconsin – Drug use during pregnancy, including marijuana, is child abuse and grounds for terminating parental rights. Forced admission to an inpatient rehab program is possible.
  • Wyoming – No specific laws or programs.

Conclusion *

smoking weed while pregnantIt is better to avoid using marijuana while pregnant. Legal complications arise in states with restrictive laws. A charge of the crime of child abuse is possible in those states and losing parental rights in a child welfare legal case. The risk of harming the baby and/or getting into legal trouble outweighs any possible benefits that may exist from smoking marijuana while pregnant. Pregnant women should seek counseling and help if they have difficulty stopping the use of marijuana during pregnancy.

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