Friday, April 11, 2014

Pregnancy or Probation? Cannabis and OB Drug Screens

Pregnancy or Probation?I've seen this picture a few times now, and while I agree that expectant mothers should be tested for things like cocaine, heroin, meth, what have you, but this pisses me off at the same time. Why? Because even if they only find marijuana in your system, they'll treat you the same as if they found out you were shooting up and behave as though you are some child-endangering criminal.

It's absolutely ridiculous. In some states, they can (and will) take your child away from you immediately after birth if you use an herbal remedy that has been utilized for over a millennia to treat pregnancy-related ailments and other uterine complaints (like bad cramps), as well as to help relieve the pain of childbirth... not to mention a plethora of other unrelated afflictions.

I wonder that they do this when there are numerous studies and precedents that indicate not only does pot cause no harm to mother or child, but in the majority of cases the children of mothers who smoked/used pot actually excelled in a multitude of areas, including brain function and overall health, had higher Apgar scores, and more often than not these children would hit their milestones earlier than other babies.

They will try to say that studies conclude the opposite, that pot is harmful. What they do not tell you is that in the government-funded studies to which they refer, they did not isolate variables like whether or not the pregnant woman used other drugs during her pregnancy along with marijuana. They would evaluate 50 different mothers, most of which were on heavier drugs, and concluded that pot was problematic.

In a Jamaican study also initially funded by the government, they found that pot was safe and even beneficial in almost all the women reviewed. Once the government caught wind of these findings, they cut off funds to the study, preventing anyone from finding out the benefits or drawbacks in the long term.

And yet, no one bats an eye when they ask the potential mother about cigarette use, which is a million times more harmful than weed could ever be. Hey, it's legal! Who cares? What kind of backwards-ass logic are doctors/lawmakers using these days? Did I die and go to bizarro world?

I've read countless stories of how pregnant women suffering from the debilitating condition known as hypermesis gravidarum have turned to Mary Jane to ease their suffering, which is acute. Most pregnant women get morning sickness, as if puking 5 times a day for a month or two isn't bad enough. It's the worst thing in the fucking world and has the most misleading name, because it's never limited to just the morning. Then there are others who develop HG (like Kate Middleton, for example) who have to deal with this "morning sickness" for the entire 9 months of pregnancy.

9 months is a long fucking time to feel nauseous when you're supposed to be eating like a madwoman to provide your little sprout with nourishment. How can you do that if you can't even keep down a vitamin? One woman who blogged about her experience dealing with this and vehemently proclaimed pot to be the one thing that saved both her life and her child's life. I can definitely relate.

Even worse, this policy results in newborn children being taken away from loving and capable parents to be placed in the nightmare that is foster care, potentially for the rest of their lives. That's not acting in anyone's best interests, so why is this Draconian practice still enforced in parts of the country?

Not surprisingly, in many of the midwestern and southern states, pot is still being demonized despite the rest of the nation's gradual enlightenment and acceptance of the safety and benefits of marijuana. I call it the bible thumper effect. It seems that the more willing a populace is to blindly follow a religion for no other reason than they're told they must, or who use their "faith" to persecute others who view the world, and themselves, differently.

Not all Christians are like this, of course, and I'm one of the most open-minded and accepting witches you'll ever meet, but I think all intelligent people can agree that people like Fred Phelps and his ilk take things way too far.

Basically, what I'm saying is this; pot use should not only be regarded as off-limits or criminal endangerment during pregnancy. I would go so far as to say that doctors should consider encouraging its use to treat a variety of things during pregnancy (like HG, hypertension as it lowers blood pressure, bone/muscle pain which can become quite severe during the second and third trimesters, and anxiety which during pregnancy can be crippling especially if it is someone's first) because it is literally the safest medicine available.

Wouldn't you agree that you'd rather see a pregnant woman toking to ease her pain instead of popping painkillers, which (unlike pot) actually has been proven to be harmful with long-term use during pregnancy? Wouldn't it be endangering the child to deny a mother with HG a medicine that could not only ease the nausea but increase appetite when she'll otherwise keep losing weight and be at risk for a miscarriage due to malnourishment? Apparently not, says the government.

This is one of the big reasons why legalization is so important. It will eliminate problems like these and make sure no more children are ripped away from the arms of their loving parents, where they belong, over a simple homeopathic remedy and miracle plant... not to mention all the epileptic children it will help in reducing their seizures and in anyone with cancer who can treat it much more cheaply and effectively with oil tinctures. It's not about making it easy for stoners, it's about making something so beneficial and helpful easy for everyone to obtain without fear of repercussion.

The truth has been clear as an unmuddied lake for long enough. Why lawmakers haven't woken up already, be it sheer aloofness or willful ignorance, is beyond me completely. I sincerely hope that, during my lifetime, I will get to see marijuana become accessible and commonplace. It would do us all a world of good.

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