California’s law legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes has made liberals and libertarians very happy. But the move does not come without some potential negative outcomes for some unborn children. Turns out, according to a report published on JAMAnetwork.com, as marijuana laws have become relaxed, pregnant mothers are starting to partake at a higher rate:
“From 2002 to 2014, the prevalence of self-reported, past-month marijuana use among US adult pregnant women increased from 2.4% to 3.9%. In aggregated 2002-2012 data, 14.6% of US pregnant adolescents reported past-month use.”
Why this matters: Marijuana is treated by advocates, and some in the media, as a safe high. It shouldn’t shock many that as we legalize the drug, younger pregnant women might not understand the risk associated with marijuana use while pregnant.
— Marijuana use has increased among pregnant women of all ages in the study.
— Younger women are the most likely to use the drug while pregnant, with use decreasing with age.
— The data from 2009-2016 showed marijuana use among pregnant women 18-24 jumped from 12.5% to 21.8%.
— The results of this study are probably skewed because it relies on self-reporting and there is an obvious social stigma that comes with smoking anything while pregnant.
— Marijuana’s effects on unborn children is being researched; however, according to this BabyCenter article, possible effects include, “…a persistent negative effect throughout childhood on what researchers call higher-order thinking, which includes problem-solving, memory, planning, attention, and controlling impulsivity. Some studies show lower academic scores in these children.”
Dale Jackson hosts a daily radio show from 7-11 a.m. on NewsTalk 770 AM/92.5 FM WVNN and a weekly television show, “Guerrilla Politics,” on WAAY-TV, both in North Alabama. Follow him @TheDaleJackson.