Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Prenatal Marijuana Exposure

Marijuana: Harmless?

The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has just published a new study on the effects of prenatal exposure to marijuana. According to the study:

"There was a significant nonlinear relationship between marijuana exposure and child intelligence. Heavy marijuana use (one or more cigarettes per day) during the first trimester was associated with lower verbal reasoning scores on the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. Heavy use during the second trimester predicted deficits in the composite, short-term memory, and quantitative scores. Third-trimester heavy use was negatively associated with the quantitative score. Other significant predictors of intelligence included maternal IQ, home environment, and social support. These findings indicate that prenatal marijuana exposure has a significant effect on school-age intellectual development." [Goldschmidt L, Richardson GA, Willford J, Day NL.]

Click here to read the abstract, which includes a description of the study's methodology

The smoking of cannabis amongst woman who are pregnant is a function of the harms of prohibition, whereas effective and enable drug education as a societal norm can be harm reducing/minimising. (from evidence as presented to the New Zealand Health Select Cmte. )

Consider: "The female marijuana smoker was a rarity and the few women who engaged in smoking were considered base and undignified and often held in contempt by both men and women. Instead, women prepared marijuana for themselves and their families in the form of teas and tonics. "

Discussion: "Although no positive or negative neurobehavioral effects of prenatal exposure were found at 3 days of life using the Brazelton examination, there were significant differences between the exposed and nonexposed neonates at the end of the first month. Comparing the two groups, the neonates of mothers who used marijuana showed better physiological stability at 1 month and required less examiner facilitation to reach an organized state and become available for social stimulation. The results of the comparison of neonates of the heavy-marijuana-using mothers and those of the nonusing mothers were even more striking. The heavily exposed neonates were more socially responsive and were more autonomically stable at 30 days than their matched counterparts. The quality of their alertness was higher; their motor and autonomic systems were more robust; they were less irritable; they were less likely to demonstrate any imbalance of tone; they needed less examiner facilitation to become organized; they had better self-regulation; and were judged to be more rewarding for caregivers than the neonates of nonusing mothers at 1 month of age. "


"Conventional wisdom would suggest that mothers who are long-term marijuana users are less likely to create optimal caregiving environments for their neonates. In this area of rural Jamaica, however, where marijuana is culturally integrated, and where heavy use of the substance by women is associated with a higher level of education and greater financial independence, it seems that roots daughters have the capacity to create a postnatal environment that is supportive of neonatal development."

cite: Prenatal Marijuana Exposure and Neonatal Outcomes in Jamaica: An Ethnographic Study
Melanie C. Dreher, PhD; Kevin Nugent, PhD; and Rebekah Hudgins, MA

This suggests that the methodology of consumption and set and setting of cannabis use is a determinate in neonate outcomes. Goldschmidt's evidence is no argument for prohibition. /Blair
Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large'

ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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