With increasingly more states legalising marijuana in America, it’s perhaps unsurprising that its use is on the up. What might surprise you is the fact that there has been a corresponding rise in marijuana use among pregnant women.
These findings have been published in JAMA. They show that between 2001 and 2013, marijuana use among American adults more than doubled as “many states legalised marijuana use, and attitudes towards marijuana became more permissive”.
So here are the numbers: 3.9% of pregnant women reported marijuana use between 2007 and 2012. This is up from 2.4% in 2002 – which is by no means a small jump. Some expectant mothers apparently use the drug to help with morning sickness.
The study does accept that there is mixed evidence of the effects that smoking weed has on an unborn child in the future: but studies “suggest that prenatal marijuana exposure may be associated with poor offspring outcomes (eg, low birth weight, impaired neurodevelopment)”.
Jason James, the medical director at Miami’s FemCare Ob-Gyn, told SELF he wasn’t shocked by the findings: “As marijuana becomes decriminalised and more accepted by society, many women mistakenly take this as a sign that it may be safe to use in pregnancy.”
However, this is not the case – the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists advises all women to stop smoking weed when they are pregnant.