Common sense may tell any expectant mother that maternal pot use during a pregnancy is not a good decision. It is a general assumption that any chemical introduced into an expectant mother’s body during the developmental stage of the fetus could have some effect, regardless of causation concerning chronic health problems. But, with two states having already legalized the drug for both recreational and medicinal use, the medical field has began more in-depth testing of the impact the drug may have on children of mothers who used marijuana during pregnancy. While the information may still be sketchy, there are still some concerns for normal development of children.There are some reasons that information on maternal pot use is difficult to obtain
. One of the primary reasons is the threat from state child services regarding removal of children from the home of an expectant mother or one who admits to having used marijuana during the pregnancy. While this condition is not always imposed on substances such as alcohol and tobacco, removal of children from a home is automatic if the mother is indicted for using known dangerous drugs such as meth. Marijuana use is still a grey area of the law, but potential for removal exists.Removal of children from the custody of the parents is not the only issue that still surrounds marijuana use. It is still criminal to even possess marijuana in the remaining 48 states unless the state has a medical marijuana exemption and the individual has an actual prescription from a licensed doctor. And, even then, many doctors can and will refuse to write those prescriptions. This leads to de facto operations for certain “pot” doctors who are willing to write the prescriptions for general conditions. These doctors can then be targeted by state police authorities for further evaluation of criminal activity. Jeopardizing a personal medical career is serious business.And then, of course, the possibility for indictment or conviction could also inhibit the ability to find gainful employment after a child is born for a maternal pot user. Any criminal record remains public, including arrest and indictment, unless an attorney is successful in winning a court motion to expunge the record without prejudice. And, additionally, a criminal conviction will also result in denial of government benefits for the mother after the child is born. It is, after all, a drug conviction. Drug convictions are specific classification of criminal activity. They still carry a very negative stigma for officials in charge who do not agree with the legal transition. All states punish convicted drug users applying for government benefits, including nutritional benefits.While the ability to conduct proper studies on using marijuana during pregnancy for humans is difficult, there have been some studies such as those conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. CBS News has reported
that studies involving animals during the pregnancy stage suggests that marijuana use can result in some level of brain damage to the fetus in certain instances. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2013 still listed marijuana as a potentially dangerous drug that can impact multiple important development and behavioral processes with children after birth.Legalization of marijuana in general is one of the most controversial issues in the United States, regardless of pregnancy impact. With the level at which policing agencies are ingrained in society, individuals are deservedly apprehensive to even discuss the topic with any government or official testing authority until decriminalization becomes more universal.
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