Health & Science

Woman charged for cannabis use during pregnancy appeals

By Alex Halperin
Sep 20, 2021

A woman put on Arizona’s child abuse registry for 25 years for using cannabis during her pregnancy appealed her case last week
Washington Post

During her pregnancy, Lindsay Ridgell, who then-worked for the Arizona Department of Child Safety(DCS), had been hospitalized twice during her difficult pregnancy and had taken MED to relieve her symptoms with the knowledge of her OB/GYN.

After her baby was born and taken to the NICU for difficulty breathing, strep throat and bleeding in the brain, the doctor ordered a substance test. It came back positive for her anti-anxiety medication, Benadryl and marijuana.  

  • Little is known about the effects of cannabis use on developing fetuses, but there is some evidence of it causing impaired brain development. 
  • Non-profit National Advocates for Pregnant Women filed an amicus brief on her behalf.
  • A spokesman for Marijuana Policy Project told WeedWeek, “”​Child​ ​welfare laws play a​ vital role in protecting children from harm. In rare instances where they fail to reflect the science, values and laws of our society, they must be updated…Our hope is that Arizona’s child welfare system and courts take full account of contemporary science and cannabis laws when determining what is in the best interest of children and their families.”
    Washington Post

The case, in Arizona where MED is legal, could be precedent setting as similar issues arise in more legal states.

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