Marijuana is becoming more widely accepted as people are recognizing its health benefits. But what about marijuana and pregnancy? Is it okay to use marijuana while pregnant? This article will tell you all you need to know.
Pregnant Woman Who Used Medical Marijuana Taken Off Child Abuse Registry
Marijuana and pregnancy is a topic being focused on as a woman who used medical marijuana while pregnant was taken off the child abuse registry. The Arizona woman was using marijuana during her pregnancy to combat her morning sickness.
The order to have her removed came from the Arizona Supreme Court last week. The woman, Lindsay Ridgell, was removed from the Confidential Registry which had limited her job prospects since she was added to it in 2019. It also had broader implications as marijuana use during pregnancy can be seen as a form of child neglect.
“It’s so magnificent!” Ridgell’s attorney Julie Gunnigle said regarding her client’s win. “My client has been suffering for four years, fighting the uncertainty of this case.”
The state Department of Child Safety filed an appeal in defense of its decision to put Ridgell on the child abuse registry in 2019 after her newborn baby tested positive for cannabis. However, the Supreme Court did not accept the appeal considering the unanimous decision from the Arizona Court of Appeals last April which found the mother’s cannabis use to be lawful and not a sign of child neglect.
Ridgell worked for DCS (Department of Child Services) during her pregnancy. The ruling caused her to lose her job.
The neglect and abuse charges also placed her on the registry which made it difficult for her to find employment. In most cases, people will stay on the registry for 25 years.
Ridgell argued in court that her medical marijuana card was issued by her doctor who knew she was pregnant. It was prescribed to relieve her morning sickness.
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act states that cannabis use “must be considered the equivalent of the use of any other medication under the direction of a physician,” and therefore found Ridgell not guilty. It reversed rulings that stated the mother had neglected her child.
Repercussions of the Marijuana and Pregnancy Case
So what does Ridgell’s case have to do with marijuana and pregnancy on a larger scale? It sets a higher standard for the DCS if the organization wants to claim neglect when a pregnant woman uses medical marijuana under rules established by state law. In the future, the DCS will have to prove that the marijuana was used irresponsibly in a way that could potentially harm a child.
The marijuana and pregnancy case is also a first of its kind. While other states have had medical cannabis issues related to child welfare, none have won such as clear ruling as the one handed by the Arizona Court of Appeals.
While the case was active, Ridgell received support from the National Advocates for Pregnancy Women, the Academy of Perinatal Harm Reduction, the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, several doctors, and comedian Amy Schumer who has spoken out about marijuana and pregnancy issues.
Marijuana and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know
It is not unusual for marijuana to be prescribed to pregnant women to treat morning sickness. However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, no amount of marijuana has proven to be safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Women are advised to avoid marijuana during pregnancy because it is not safe for them or their children.
Cannabis is not safe for pregnant women regardless of how it’s taken. Now that marijuana is mostly legal, it is stronger than ever. It contains nearly 500 chemicals, including THC, which a woman can pass onto her baby through the placenta during pregnancy.
Marijuana and pregnancy can cause a variety of issues including:
- Fetal growth restriction
- An increased risk of a stillborn birth
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
- Long term brain development issues
Marijuana and Breastfeeding
Marijuana and pregnancy may not be the best combination. There can also be harmful effects during breastfeeding. The chemicals in marijuana can be passed on through the breast milk causing issues with brain development.
While pregnancy and marijuana is not an advised combination, laws are changing, and pregnant moms that use it will be judged on a case by case basis. If your doctor gives you the okay, it’s important that the cannabis you use is as pure as possible. Purchase through a trusted retailer and use brands that are highly rated and do lab testing.
If you are looking for a trusted marijuana source, SCSA is the way to go. We are a dispensary Santa Ana you can trust. We offer a wide selection of cannabis products that can help you reach your wellness goals.
Contact us for all your marijuana related needs.