Pubdate: Fri, 10 Apr 2015
Source: Vancouver 24hours (CN BC)
Copyright: 2015 Vancouver 24 hrs.
Author: Ada Slivinski
Page: 5


Marc and Jodie's online magazine claims pregnant women smoking pot 
helps with nausea and emotions - but studies say otherwise

Marc Emery's online magazine, Cannabis Culture, encourages marijuana 
use during pregnancy for relief of nausea, loss of appetite and to 
help get emotions under control.

"Most studies say cannabis is perfectly safe during pregnancy, but 
it's controversial, of course!" said Jodie Emery, Marc's wife and 
well-known marijuana activist.

In one online article, Dr. Kathy Galbraith, known as "Dr. Kate," 
writes, "Pot can be safely used during pregnancy, and can help with 
several of the discomforts/problems associated therewith."

"Instead of dangerous pharmaceuticals, surely it is worth trying a 
natural herb that has never harmed anyone."

She goes on, "These types of herbs are special friends to women, 
because they bring the feminine reproductive system into the correct 
balance, which definitely helps her pregnancy, and state of mind in 
general," and writes, "Most women these days do not eat enough food, 
and that is the biggest cause of low birth weight babies." This is 
just one of many articles in the magazine that support pot use during 

However, according to most medical studies, using marijuana for 
pregnancy-related side effects is not a good idea. In a study of the 
effects of cocaine and marijuana on preterm birth and low birth 
weight by Shiono, Patricia et al, "Rates of preterm birth and low 
birth weight may be somewhat higher among women who are long-term, 
heavy users of cocaine or marijuana."

According to a study by Chandra, Kiran et al, "women should be 
informed about [marijuana's] unproven fetal safety and existing 
evidence of potential behavioural teratogenesis" (structural or 
functional defects).

The same study found that, "Presently marijuana is the most popular 
illicit drug used by pregnant women," and showed that while marijuana 
use does tend to reduce nausea, it actually increases incidents of 
vomiting or retching.

Some studies have found babies exposed to THC in the womb later have 
problems focusing their attention and solving problems.

Doctors warn that marijuana can often be laced with other drugs, thus 
using it while pregnant can cause additional, unanticipated 
consequences for the baby.

The Motherisk Alcohol and Substance Abuse Helpline reported that the 
third most common substance pregnant women call to inquire about is 
marijuana - behind alcohol and nicotine.

Marijuana sold from the BC Pain Society vending machines carries the 
warning, "Pregnant or nursing mothers and those with lung or heart 
disease should consult a doctor before use." Chuck Varabioff, the 
society's director, wouldn't say specifically whether their on-site 
medical staff would prescribe to pregnant women.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom