Brickbat: Bad Medicine


When Shanelle Dates became pregnant, she asked her doctor if she would be able to continue taking part in Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program. He told her she could and also that the other drugs she had been using before she joined the program—for severe gastrointestinal issues, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder—would be even more risky for her baby than the marijuana. Her ob/gyn and mental health counselor also recommended she continue to use marijuana. But the day she arrived home from the hospital after giving birth, a local Children and Youth Services caseworker showed up at her door. While the agency hasn't said why they sent a caseworker, Sabrina McCloe Smith, head of a nonprofit that aids medical marijuana users, says it is common for mothers who use medical marijuana to be investigated. In 2018, lawmakers required healthcare providers to report all prenatal exposure to drugs, even if the mother was using the drugs as prescribed by a physician.

NEXT: Why Is the Media So Negative?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I’m pretty sure the state only approved medical marijuana use so that it could smoke out the marijuana users.

    1. You might be even more cynical than I am about government control. But there’s a good chance you’re right—especially in states where you have to “sign up” and go through an approved dispensary

      Next thing you know, they’ll require smokers to wear something that readily identifies their status, like a fabric leaf sewn onto their clothing.

      1. Well, they are moving toward making having a driver’s license illegal while using MJ.

        At least, they are pushing changes to DUI laws that would make anyone who uses MJ on a regular basis automatically impaired by legal definition at all times, even if there is no actual impairment.

        Bonus – this would also likely make medical MJ users automatically at fault in any accident, even if they were the victim of a wreckless driver who ran a red light and careened into the MM user’s stopped vehicle.

        When prosecutors are given the lemons of no more illegal weed, they’ll make lemonade by finding ways to punish legal use. So this is a win for the jackboot – more selective prosecution opportunities for everyone!

        1. So they would treat it like they do alcohol. Your same objections are true with even mine or amounts of alcohol in the system with MADD using the term “alcohol related” do broadly that it counts in the stats if you get into an accident coming back from the store with a 6 pack in the trunk.

          1. Just think how many crashes are “driver’s license related”!

          2. Yes, but you don’t go to jail because someone else caused an accident while you had a six pack in the trunk. You don’t go to jail because blood tests show you drank a couple of weeks ago. You only go to jail because of alcohol if it is currently in your blood, which means you are currently more-or-less impaired. There might be arguments over differences in impairment between individuals at an 0.8 BAC, about how reasonable that threshold is (you might be more impaired driving home from work tired or having a talkative passenger), and about how accurate breathalyzer-style measurements are, but no one can claim that they blew 0.8 and weren’t impaired at all.

            1. No, but plenty blow a .24 and claim they aren’t impaired at all.

              1. The difference is that BAC has been shown to be directly related to impairment, but THC concentration has been shown specifically not to have a direct relationship to level of impairment

                1. Nope, well, only sorta ….

                  There is not doubt that impairment increases with BAC, but reaching significant impairment varies dramatically by person. So the level of 0.08 currently in widespread usage is completely arbitrary.

                  To further muddy the water, a test of driving skill conducted by Car and Driver magazine (back in the 70’s I believe) found that driver performance IMPROVED after a drink or two on average and diminished thereafter.

                  Bottom line, the MADD campaign has stopped being about drunk drivers* and become a modern temperance movement, just as the MJ campaign is.

                  *In fact the founder of MADD left the organization and said as much

                  1. MADD pretty much achieved their goal. Drunk driving is no longer socially acceptable like it once was and deaths are way down. But they have all this fundraising apparatus, so better keep doing something so people can keep their phony-baloney jobs.

                    Can anyone think of any advocacy organization like that that just shut down after accomplishing their goals?

  2. All pre-natal drug use has to be reported? The RU-486 users are going to have some explaining to do when CPS shows up.

    1. Haha!

  3. Marijuana may be “legal” on the State level [still “illegal per Federal Law] but used during pregnancy is a mandatory reporting issue [to child protective services] for docs, nurses, etc. Many women use it during pregnancy to alleviate common symptoms of nausea and vomiting. If they report it they get reported.

  4. Let’s see how many pigs at the trough, that Government Almighty can line up, before you can smoke pot and NOT worry about being micro-managed or put in jail or forced to undergo “mandatory therapy”… Or even, have a baby or drive a car and NOT smoke pot…

    You have to stay away from ALL potsmokers, lest you inadvertently get a few molecules of pot into your system, then have a car accident, or a baby… Or an accidental baby!

    You have to get a prescription first for the medical stuff.

    You have to get a licensed pharmacist to sell it to you… One that doesn’t object to it on a religious basis, so you have to shop around, pharmacy-wise. And the pharmacists and the growers have to have who-knows-how-many-armies of inspectors and over-the-shoulder lookers!

    Can’t smoke it in public, whatever THAT means! “Officer discretion” involved here. Don’t let the pot smoke escape and waft around!

    Don’t let some random blue-nose know what meds you’re on. They’ll find some other reason to turn you in… Like you blowing on a cheap plastic flute!

    Even after you’ve done all these things, if you’re having a baby, it might be smart to have a underground midwife, who bypasses the ten zillion health care mandates.

    AND we have to have “child welfare” experts overseeing it all, to include that you don’t smoke pot in your home, unless you get the pot from a verified legal chain of pot production and sales, AND then ALSO, that you don’t transfer your LEGAL pot into anything other than its original prescription container! Else, you might lose your kids!

    So we’re (in fits and starts) “legalizing” pot… WTF difference does it make?

  5. Moral of the story: Don’t have children. The State will extort obedience from you through them.

  6. How about just once someone passes a law that tells people to mind their own damn business? Mandatory reporting is terrible. Physicians should not be conscripted as auxiliary police, nor given some of the legal powers they have over people under their care.

    1. If you think that’s bad, wait until the federal red flag law goes into effect.

  7. why do they say that weed is a bad medicine? it is proved that it has medical advantages for your body and your mind
    مشاوره قبل ازدواج

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.