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Safety of Marijuana Use During Pregnancy Questioned Following Legalization

The Short of It

In light of new laws in Colorado and Washington that allow the recreational use of pot, lawmakers are struggling to make sense of conflicting research about the safety of marijuana for pregnant women.

The Lowdown

Some women swear marijuana helps to ease nausea during pregnancy, but doctors caution there's no safe amount of pot use for a mom-to-be.

At this time, conflicting data exists as to how pot affects a developing fetus.

A report issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment found evidence to suggest that the active psychoactive ingredient in pot, THC, does pass through the placenta to the fetus and can be transmitted to a child through a mother's breast milk. THC may be linked to birth defects, learning disabilities, a lower IQ and lower birth weight. But studies aimed at proving these links have mixed results.

Based on the lack of solid evidence that marijuana is harmful for a pregnant woman and her baby, lawmakers' efforts to issue stronger warnings against pot use for moms-to-be have proven unsuccessful. Current laws in Colorado and Washington require pot shops to issue customers with written warnings stating the drug should be avoided during pregnancy or label their products with similar warnings. But some lawmakers are calling for additional warnings to be posted in the dispensaries.

The Upshot

It seems that if pot use is even questionably unsafe during pregnancy, expectant women should steer clear of it. Why risk the health of your baby? Do we need a law to tell us this, or can we rely on common sense? What is your take?

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