A newly proposed bill in Wyoming that focuses on drug crimes against infants could allow people to be tried and sentenced for giving drugs to pregnant women. This would include substances such as cannabis, despite the progress made in cannabis studies providing evidence that it isn’t harmful to women who consume it during pregnancy.
According to K2 Radio, if House Bill 215 is enacted, a person could be found guilty of drug-induced infant homicide if he or she gives a pregnant woman a Schedule I or II narcotic and the woman does not successfully give birth. Since cannabis is also currently on the Schedule I list, this means that even giving a woman cannabis products could be equitable with infant homicide.
If this bill becomes law, the penalty could be up to 10 years in prison for homicide. If the woman gives birth but was given a narcotic substance, the person who gave it to her could still face up to five years in prison for abuse. Furthermore, that definition extends to a positive drug test for the mother or child. No “abuse” in the traditional sense would need to be performed for the sentence to be carried out.
The long-running rumor has been that cannabis is extremely harmful to the fetus when ingested by pregnant women. However, according to an article by a registered nurse for CULTURE, now that research is actually being conducted, no clear correlation between cannabis use and birth defects is being found. In fact, studies show that women who take opiates for pain during pregnancy or continue to take anti-depressants are more at risk for passing on traits like birth defects and autism. The study also finds no clear link between low birth rate in infants and cannabis use.
The dangers of using cannabis as medicine during pregnancy continue to be focused on, while any potential benefits get ignored. And at a time where many women feel their reproductive rights are being threatened, cannabis use during pregnancy is coming under even heavier fire. Like everything else, a focus on the facts and more scientific inquiry to verify current studies will shed light on the true effects of cannabis during pregnancy.