A proposal in Colorado that would increase warnings about smoking pot while pregnant is coming under fire because of “limited or inconclusive research on the dangers.”
Pot users in Colorado and Washington already receive warnings that the drug shouldn’t be used by pregnant and nursing women. But a Colorado bill facing its first hearing Tuesday proposes going further by requiring pot shops to post signs saying that maternal marijuana use poses risks to unborn children.
“It’s important to have notification that there is risk,” said Republican Rep. Jack Tate, sponsor of the bill.
The proposal is controversial for several reasons. Some pregnant women use marijuana to ease their nausea and an industry group worries the warnings don’t acknowledge the research on the topic is limited.
Tyler Henson, president of the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, called the proposal “another attempt to discredit and ignore the popular public opinion of marijuana’s medicinal use.”
A new report this week out of Colorado notes “that marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, THC, is passed to children through the placenta and breast milk. But the doctors who compiled the survey of existing research also noted that the health consequences of that THC exposure aren’t fully understood.”
The report, released on Monday, “reflected national conclusions on marijuana’s health risks.”
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says animal studies have suggested that smoking marijuana in pregnancy may harm brain development. But the institute also says more research is needed “to disentangle marijuana’s specific effects from other environmental factors, including maternal nutrition, exposure to nurturing/neglect, and use of other substances by mothers.”
Colorado requires marijuana to be labeled with the warning: “There may be additional health risks associated with the consumption of this product for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning on becoming pregnant.”