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Michigan Proposes Cannabis Warning Labels for Pregnant Mothers

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Two bills introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives would add warning labels to pregnant and nursing mothers for medical and recreational cannabis. On June 18, a judiciary committee heard several testimonies on behalf of the bills. The labels would be designed to dissuade mothers from accepting that cannabis is safe in every instance.

Of the two bills, House Bill 4126 would make amendments to the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act and House Bill 4127 would make amendments the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act.

The bills are sponsored by State Rep. Thomas Albert, and Rep. Daire Rendon. “With marijuana use becoming more widely accepted, the public’s perception of danger has gone down,” Albert told Mlive. “We must do more to inform the public and protect unborn and newborn babies from exposure to harmful marijuana products.” While Albert doesn’t believe that the warning labels will be enough to curb all mothers from consuming cannabis, he believes the warning labels could sway public opinion about how safe cannabis is.

Rep. David LaGrand was supportive of the bill, citing that at one point Americans also believed alcohol and cigarettes were beneficial to the body. According to LaGrand, there could be future side effects or interactions with cannabis that we don’t already know about.

The warning labels would read: “WARNING: Use by pregnant or breastfeeding women, or by women planning to become pregnant, may result in fetal injury, preterm birth, low birth weight, or developmental problems for the child.”

Dr. Federico Mariona, an obstetrician in Dearborn, Michigan testified in support of the bill. Mariona said that as an obstetrician, he hears plenty of stories from women who say that cannabis helps with morning sickness, and that worries him. Cannabis can travel from mother to child during breastfeeding, and cannabinoids can remain in breast milk for up to six days. On the other hand, endocannabinoids are present naturally in breast milk, and may even serve a calming role. It’s a complicated issue no matter how you look at it.