Pot to treat pregnancy pains? Ariz. pediatricians are concerned

Pot to treat pregnancy pains? Ariz. pediatricians are concerned

CREATED Nov 16, 2012

Reporter: Cory Marshall

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -Morning sickness? According to members of the Arizona chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, some naturopathic doctors are recommending medicinal marijuana. 

Dr. Eve Shapiro is a Tucson pediatrician and a member of the AAP. She is concerned about the potential harm to fetuses.

"Some physicians or naturopaths feel that warrants a medical marijuana card. Now, we wouldn't agree," Shapiro said.

"I think when the medical marijuana proposition passed we didn't fully recognize some of the unintended consequences," Shapiro continued.

Shapiro says part of the problem is the lack of research, specifically on the affects of marijuana use on pregnant women in the United States.

Some marijuana advocacy groups disagree. Jon Gettel is the director of Arizona for Norml, a non-profit that focuses on marijuana issues.

"Unfortunately, it's been dangerous as a pregnant woman to admit that you use marijuana during pregnancy to anyone but your close friends," Gettel told 9OYS.

Although there hasn't been much research in the U.S., there has been research on the topic internationally. Gettel cites those studies and says he strongly believes medicinal marijuana use in pregnant women poses no harm.

"It's a very safe medicine with very minimal side effects that [are] used to combat a whole host of illnesses," Gettel said.

9OYS checked with several Tucson medical marijuana centers. Because of policy, sites like the Arizona Medical Marijuana Certification Center does not issue cards to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

There is some common ground, both Gettel and Shapiro agree more research is needed.