National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) & Family Law & Cannabis Alliance (FLCA) Call for Non-Punitive Responses to Pregnant Women Who Use Marijuana
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) on Monday released Committee Opinion 637, "Marijuana Use During Pregnancy and Lactation," recommending that health care providers encourage women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy to avoid marijuana use “[b]ecause the effects of marijuana may be as serious as those of cigarette smoking or alcohol consumption.”
For decades, medical health professionals have used a variety of medical and public health techniques, including harm reduction approaches, to address the issue of cigarette smoking and alcohol use by pregnant women. The Committee Opinion acknowledges that “there are limitations on the data on marijuana,” that many of the studies cited are based only on animal models (not humans), and that the effects of marijuana use have not been shown to be as serious as cigarette and alcohol consumption.
Nevertheless, women and mothers in the U.S. who have used marijuana while pregnant are being subject to highly punitive, gender discriminatory criminal and civil penalties, according to the National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) and the Family Law & Cannabis Alliance (FLCA), both of which called for non-punitive responses to pregnant women who use cannabis.