This week on Krishna’s Weediquette, our trusted investigator of the sticky bud tackles what is perhaps his stickiest subject yet in the episode “High Risk Pregnancies”. In the USA, expectant mothers who smoke cannabis are an under-reported, though far larger group than one might expect. As the legalisation of weed spreads across the nation, individuals, health care professionals and legislators are being forced to negotiate their positions on this highly divisive topic. Here’s a taste of what to expect...
The pregnant woman that lights up
Kimberly is expecting her second child and is currently smoking weed on a daily basis. This decision wasn’t made lightly, but was borne from the disturbing experience of her first pregnancy. For that entire nine-month period, Kimberly suffered an unbearable sickness that consumed every hour of her day. She couldn’t eat and could barely move, and her husband not only feared for their baby’s life, but also for hers.
An understandable stigma
During the episode, Krishna sits down with a group of women who have turned to THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical compound found in cannabis) during the course of their pregnancies. He learns that most medical professionals refuse to consider the grey areas when it comes to prenatal weed consumption and, on the whole, view smoking mothers as irresponsible drug addicts who are merely out to get stoned.
The "crack baby" myth
Unfortunately, when it comes to prenatal weed use, the jury’s still out. Some prominent health care professionals believe the practice can only result in harm to the baby, while others are more concerned with how the stigma can prevent smoking mothers from seeking prenatal care. Whichever way you cut it, there just isn’t enough data out there to adequately say how cannabis effects a pregnancy.
Back in the '80s, an alleged spate of kids born to mothers who had smoked cocaine led to mass public hysteria over what came to be known as "crack babies". A long list of mothers were immediately separated from their children. While, of course, cocaine use is a dangerous practice, subsequent studies have revealed this strong-arming was unfounded and unfairly punitive to poor, black mothers. It turns out these children were no worse off than others from similar backgrounds and that the "crack baby" was a complete myth.
Could a similar situation arise with "pot babies"?
Kimberly’s second pregnancy
This episode of Weediquette follows Kimberly all the way through to the eventual birth of her second child. At a particular point in her third trimester, she’s faced with a decision: quit smoking in the hope any eventual drug test is clear of THC or face the potential intervention of Child Protective Services.
It’s a moving, contentious episode you wont want to miss.
Watch Weediquette on Sunday 22 October at 9:25pm on SBS VICELAND. Missed the last episode? Watch it at SBS On Demand: