Results of a new study suggest a dangerous effect of society's increasing acceptance of marijuana: a growing number of pregnant women who are using the drug to relieve pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness.
A seven-year study of around 280,000 pregnant women in California found that the overall prevalence of marijuana use in the group increased from 4.2% in 2009 to 7.1% in 2016. The results were based on self-report and urine drug screening data. The data are noteworthy in that this trend predates California's adoption of a recreational marijuana law.
The study, published this month in JAMA, found that the steepest increase in marijuana use during pregnancy occurred in women under age 24. Medical professionals say women who are pregnant or planning pregnancy should be encouraged to discontinue marijuana use, and that alternative therapies should be suggested for women who have been using the drug for medical purposes.
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