New research has shown that using marijuana during pregnancy and breastfeeding could be harmful to the child. Regulators are considering writing warning messages on medical and recreational marijuana products so that people are aware of the associated dangers.
The American Medical Association stated on Monday that they would start urging regulators to require such warnings. Studies have shown that marijuana usage has been linked to low birth weights, premature births and behavioral problems in young children.
However, critics of this proposal have said that the evidence is weak and that more research is needed. Still, supporters say that taking a cautious route is the wiser decision when it comes to your unborn children.
The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, has been found in the breast milk of women who smoke marijuana. Children who have inadvertently consumed THC have been shown to have attention problems, and they often score lower on tests that require problem solving.
Similar warning labels in regard to pregnancy are already placed on alcohol and tobacco products. Since marijuana is one of the most common illicit drug used during pregnancies, many feel that warning labels should be posted on such products as well.
Although there is much more scientific evidence of harm from alcohol and tobacco usage during pregnancy than there is from marijuana usage, it does not mean that marijuana is safe for use while pregnant or breastfeeding.
In America, about 5% of pregnant women use marijuana while they are pregnant. However, this number increased to 28% when studying certain groups of low-income urban women.
Since marijuana is illegal under federal law, warning labels would only be applied by state and local measures.
Many pregnant women use marijuana to reduce nausea, chronic pain and depression.
Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and Washington DC. The recreational use of marijuana is legal in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Washington D.C.
Marijuana shops in Oregon currently require warnings regarding the dangers of marijuana use by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. No other states have such a requirement.