New study: prenatal exposure to smoked or ingested marijuana harms children

Number of drivers involved in fatal crashes who used marijuana
CO drivers involved in fatal crashes who used marijuana (Source: Denver Post)

Whenever debating moral issues, I find that the most useful approach is to is to appeal to scientific studies. Although people today tend to be skeptical of philosophical or religious arguments, they can’t deny the success of science in solving problems in the real world. With that said, here is a recent study showing some previously unknown effects of marijuana use.

The Scientist reports:

When marijuana is ingested or smoked during pregnancy, exogenous cannabinoids enter the blood and cross easily through the placental barrier due to their highly lipophilic nature. Pairing this ready availability with slow pharmacokinetics—active metabolites continue circulating for up to five days depending on dosage and frequency of use—fetal exposure to the active compounds in cannabis is both efficient and prolonged.

[…]To date, the three largest longitudinal studies of the children of women who smoked marijuana once a week or more during their pregnancies have identified remarkably consistent outcomes during early development and through young adulthood. In infants, these include increased impulsivity, hyperactivity, and delinquent behaviors, as well as memory dysfunction and decreased IQ scores. During adolescence and early adulthood, fetal cannabis exposure has been linked to persistent reduction in memory and concentration, higher rates of drug use, and an increased incidence of hyperactivity, signs of depression, and psychotic and schizophrenic-like symptoms. These mental health issues are further evidenced by increased reports from both parents and schoolteachers of problematic behavior and delinquency in cannabis-exposed kids.

What I thought was most interesting was how the intuitions of pregnant women in America conflict with what the science showed:

[…]70 percent of women in the United States believe that there is “slight or no risk of harm” in using cannabis during pregnancy. And about 4 percent of pregnant women in the US report using the drug during gestation, just like Carol. Of expectant moms between the ages of 18 and 25, this number is nearly 7.5 percent.

It’s a scary thing when a person generates their views by how they make them feel, or whether other people like them for their views. But that seems to be so popular these days, especially with the young people. Right and wrong is decided by how consenting adults feel about things, in the moment. It seems to me that the only way to break through the feelings is with science that shows the real consequences of the immoral behavior.

(Image source: Denver Post)

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3 thoughts on “New study: prenatal exposure to smoked or ingested marijuana harms children”

  1. That explains Canada’s Justin Trudeau. His mother was a hippie, flower child stoner. She also left the kids at home and flew to New York to party with Jagger and the Stones.

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