Colorado doctors worried about new mothers’ marijuana use

By June 3, 2016 Recent News

The Denver Post 1 May 2016
Dr. Steven Simerville worries about the number of babies being born in Pueblo with marijuana in their bodies.

The medical director of the newborn intensive care unit at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center finds that mothers who abhor smoking cigarettes during pregnancy see no harm in smoking a joint.

“What I’m seeing in our nursery is a dramatic increase in babies who test positive for marijuana,” he said. “The interesting thing for me is the number of mothers who use marijuana and want to breast feed. They don’t believe marijuana is harmful.”

In an unusual political campaign, Pueblo’s hospitals and some of its doctors have joined a petition drive to stop sales of recreational marijuana throughout Pueblo County.

The petition, by Citizens for a Healthy Pueblo, contends the city and county have been harmed by the rapid proliferation of pot shops and commercial growers.

Dr. Simerville said his concerns reflect those of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has linked marijuana in newborn babies, a critical stage for brain development, to academic underachievement and behavioral disorders.

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