Recreational marijuana legalization is sweeping the nation. Eleven states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing weed, and all signs point to Arizona, New York, New Jersey, and New Mexico joining the list in 2020.  Public health policy has been slow to catch up to the marijuana legalization movement’s rapid progress.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 25 states and the District of Columbia require health care professionals to report suspected prenatal drug use, and eight states require them to test for prenatal drug exposure if they suspect drug use.  While the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists encourages members to advocate against laws that punish people for drug use during pregnancy, the organization also makes it clear that doctors “should be aware of the reporting requirements related to alcohol and drug abuse within their state.” 
When it comes to legalized weed and pregnancy, the devil is in the details and the smell of weed may trigger mandatory drug testing. Join us for our next Act and Learn webinar, Marijuana Legalization and Reproductive Oppression, to learn more and find out how to take action to advance justice on this important issue.
- Nila Natarajan, Supervising Attorney, Brooklyn Defender Services – Family Defense Practice
- Lynn M. Paltrow, JD, Founder and Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW)