Colorado dispensaries are recommending weed to pregnant women

Illustration for article titled Colorado dispensaries are recommending weed to pregnant women
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About 70 percent of Colorado marijuana dispensaries suggested weed to aid women’s morning sickness, according to a new article published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. Researchers used a “mystery caller approach,” meaning a woman would call a dispensary, she was eight weeks pregnant and experiencing morning sickness, and ask for the staff’s recommendations. Of the 400 dispensaries called, 69 percent recommended treatment of morning sickness with marijuana products, and more than a third told women cannabis use is safe during pregnancy.

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A Denver-based high-risk obstetrician told CNN she found the results “really surprising,” saying that she didn’t expect so many dispensaries would recommend cannabis to pregnant women. The study’s authors note that “few dispensaries encouraged discussion with a health care provider without prompting.” But pregnant women are often reticent to discuss marijuana use with their physicians for fear of legal problems, social services intervention, or just old-fashioned shaming.

The journal article doesn’t address the medical risks or benefits of marijuana use by pregnant women; instead, it addresses the question of whether dispensaries might be offering medical advice that’s beyond their qualifications. Of the dispensaries contacted, 37 percent were licensed for medical marijuana, 28 percent for recreational, and 35 percent for both. A University Of Maryland professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences tell CNN that the employees’ recommendations—which were mostly based on “personal opinion”—raise questions because even the medical dispensaries might not be staffed by employees “that have any sort of medical education.”

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Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

I’m definitely pro-cannabis legalization and believe that responsible use by of-age adults should be the right of most every person- but this is just stupid as fuck. Not because I can point to some science that says that it is bad for unborn babies, but because there IS science out there that points to it being bad for developing brains generally between the ages of X and 23. [And the part of the reason there is no science is because the Federal government has historically made researching with marijuana about as easy as climbing Mount Everest wearing a furry costume.] The human brain doesn’t fully develop until your early 20s, and marijuana use prior to that can have a deleterious effect upon development. I can’t even begin to imagine what it does to a fetus when infants are exposed to THC on a regular basis. Even if it isn’t horrible, I can’t imagine it’s good. No, I don’t believe one toke on a joint while a kid is in utero is going to fuck up a kid, but I do believe that it may be bad for moms to expose kids to that in utero when there is no science to say that it’s A-ok. I would never have been okay with having my child exposed to that. Neh. Ver.