The American Medical Association (AMA) said Monday it is advocating for medical and recreational marijuana products to have warnings against use during pregnancy, the Associated Press reports.
The group said its decision is based on research that suggests marijuana use may be linked with premature birth, low birth weight and behavior problems in young children.
The group wants warning messages written on product labels and posted wherever medical and recreational marijuana is sold.
According to the AMA, some research has linked marijuana use in pregnancy with attention problems in childhood, and lower scores on measures of problem solving.
There are similar warnings for alcohol and tobacco, “so why not do the same thing with marijuana since it is the most commonly used illicit drug during pregnancy,” said Dr. Diana Ramos, a physician with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which proposed the warnings at an AMA meeting this week.
This summer, ACOG issued a statement that noted marijuana is the illicit drug most commonly used during pregnancy. The group noted, “Pregnant women or women contemplating pregnancy should be encouraged to discontinue use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in favor of an alternative therapy for which there are better pregnancy-specific safety data. There are insufficient data to evaluate the effects of marijuana use on infants during lactation and breastfeeding, and in the absence of such data, marijuana use is discouraged.”
Oregon is the only state that currently requires point-of-sale warnings at marijuana dispensaries regarding use of the drug in pregnant or breastfeeding women, the AP notes. In Colorado, marijuana labels warn pregnant and breastfeeding women that “there may be risks” from using the drug. Earlier this year, Colorado legislators rejected a ban on selling marijuana to pregnant women.