Jun 022011
 June 2, 2011

Marijuana PregnantBy Janelle Stone

It’s almost too taboo to discuss: pregnant women smoking marijuana. It’s a dirty little secret for women, particularly during the harrowing first trimester, who turn to cannabis for relief from nausea and stress.

If you were to inquire about pot and pregnancy on the Web, Baby Center offers a strongly worded warning from Gerald Briggs, pharmacist clinical specialist.

Briggs says that pot affects the baby’s growth and development and–gasp!–may even cause childhood leukemia. But there are no facts or studies attributed to back up the claims.

More than 50 pages of comments were posted to the site about Briggs’ statements. Some proclaimed the virtues of smoking marijuana while pregnant, offering proof of healthy children and stories of functioning during pregnancy thanks to cannabis. Other comments viciously showed disdain for pregnant patients, resorting to name-calling.

jamaica marijuanaPregnant women in Jamaica use marijuana regularly to relieve nausea, as well as to relieve stress and depression, often in the form of a tea or tonic. In the late 1960s, grad student Melanie Dreher was chosen by her professors to perform an ethnographic study on marijuana use in Jamaica to observe and document its usage and its consequences among pregnant women.

Dreher studied 24 Jamaican infants exposed to marijuana prenatally and 20 infants that were not exposed. Her work evolved into the book Women and Cannabis: Medicine, Science and Sociology, part of which included her field studies.

Most North American studies have shown marijuana use can cause birth defects and developmental problems.

Those studies did not isolate marijuana use, however, lumping cannabis with more destructive substances ranging from alcohol and tobacco to meth and heroin.

In Jamaica, Dreher found a culture that policed its own ganja intake and considers its use spiritual. For the herb’s impact when used during pregnancy, she handed over reports utilizing the Brazelton Scale, the highly recognized neonatal behavioral assessment that evaluates behavior.

The profile identifies the baby’s strengths, adaptive responses and possible vulnerabilities. The researchers continued to evaluate the children from the study up to 5 years old. The results showed no negative impact on the children, on the contrary they seemed to excel.

Marijuana BrainPlenty of people did not like that answer, particularly her funders, the National Institute on Drug Abuse. They did not continue to flip the bill for the study and did not readily release its results.

“March of Dimes was supportive,” Dreher says. “But it was clear that NIDA was not interested in continuing to fund a study that didn’t produce negative results. I was told not to resubmit. We missed an opportunity to follow the study through adolescence and through adulthood.”

Now dean of nursing at Rush University with degrees in nursing, anthropology and philosophy, plus a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University, Dreher did not have experience with marijuana before she shipped off for Jamaica.

The now-marijuana advocate says that Raphael Mechoulam, the first person to isolate THC, should win a Pulitzer. Still, she understands that medical professionals shy from doing anything that might damage any support of their professionalism, despite marijuana’s proven medicinal effects, particularly for pregnant women.


Dr. Melanie Dreher’s study isn’t the first time Jamaican ganja smoking was subjected to scientific study. One of the most exhausting studies is Ganja in Jamaica–A Medical Anthropological Study of Chronic Marijuana Use by Vera Rubin and Lambros Comitas, published in 1975. Unfortunately for the National Institute of Mental Health’s Center for Studies of Narcotic and Drug Abuse, the medical anthropological study concluded: “Despite its illegality, ganja use is pervasive, and duration and frequency are very high; it is smoked over a longer period in heavier quantities with greater THC potency than in the U.S. without deleterious social or psychological consequences [our emphasis].”

Article From Culture Magazine

About Jay Smoker

I have been smoking marijuana for almost twenty years and I have no plans to stop anytime soon. My life was turned upside down in 2009 after getting arrested and tossed in jail for being in the wrong state with legal medical marijuana. I got fed up, and I now devote all my time to ending this insanity.I am responsible for the technical side of this project, but try to chip in when I can, either with syndicated articles or original content.Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.Feel free to email. any questions or concerns. Peace!
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  • Mysticmoon

    I have a question, I currently had my baby and I didnt smoke during pregnacy, but after I had my baby my anxiety got worse, I am breastfeeding and just want some insight on whether its bad for my baby if I take a hit now and then to ease my anxiety.

  • Beth Serrano

    Smoking weed helps with my nausea. I live in Washington state and I’m afraid the baby could get taken away because i smoke. Any thoughts

    • cheech

      I thought the same thing. I’m in ga I was so scared. But I was ok they didn’t take him I smoked all the way until the night before because I was so nervous. Anyways my child was born 7lbs 4oz and health nothings wrong he’s a month now and he is the sweetest baby he only cries when he’s hungry and he sleeps good through the night. Idk what y’all laws are but I was nervous for no reason.

    • Debi Word

      Please reveiw the artical below Katie is my daughter n law. She will be going to court next Friday Oct 16, 2015 http://www.motherjones.com/…/alabama-chemical-endangerment.

  • Katya

    Greetings, Ladies! I’m from Russia and the situation here is pretty sad, since even the medical aspect of marijuana is ignored and people are often misinformed and scared. I’m currently pregnant, before my pregnancy I used to smoke regularly about 2 joints per day, right now I try to avoid smoking but as weak as it may sound I have difficulties dealing with the stress and yet ofcourse I worry about my baby’s wellbeing. Could you please give me some advice pr maybe clear out what would be best – possibly recommend a certain strain, a recipe (I heard jamaican women make tea) or just share your experience! Thank you!