Cincinnati’s WKRC, Channel 12 ran a story about a study claiming that marijuana use by pregnant women ‘may’ cause brain damage in the fetus or later mental problems. Setting aside the fact that every one of these studies all say ‘may’ or ‘might’, one must ignore 4000 years of anecdotal evidence. Women have been using marijuana for menstrual cramps and morning sickness since ancient times and there is no reported evidence of any problems with birth or birth defects in all that time.
Israeli researchers, who have been studying marijuana and it’s properties for decades, and discovered the human cannabinoid system, have yet to find any definitive link between marijuana use and brain damage and in fact have discovered that marijuana use engenders brain cell growth the opposite of alcohol which causes brain cell death.
This idea of brain damage came up after the publishing of a very questionable study from New Zealand which claimed marijuana use caused schizophrenia. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown touted this study in an effort to increase penalties for marijuana use to gin up conservative voters in his election. It was a big scandal and his health minister quit over the uproar.
Since then this claim has morphed into mental problems in adults and when that didn’t get traction it became mental problems in the developing teen brain and now it has devolved to the fetus and we are blaming the mothers in an embarrassing attempt to keep prohibition going!
Marijuana has been used for thousands of years and has been prohibited for only 80. The push to connect marijuana and mental health problems in the fetus is just another attempt to justify a prohibition that cannot be justified. Better we spend our efforts in finding the positive uses for marijuana because in 80 years we sure have had a hard time proving any bad ones.