College Paying Pregnant Mothers To Smoke Drug To See How Damaging It Is to Baby's Brain


A new experiment at the University of Washington will pay mothers to smoke marijuana while pregnant to later measure its effects on their infants at 6 months of age.

And taxpayers will help pay for it — to the tune of $190,000.

While the idea on its face seems reckless and wildly dangerous, the stated purpose of the experiment makes a little sense — if you can get over the fact that it will likely harm babies who didn’t ask to be part of some pay-to-smoke program.

The official description of the project explains that the increase in both decriminalization and potency of marijuana over the past 30 years warrants further studying the effects of marijuana use during pregnancy.

The project will involve 70 mothers — half will use prescribed medicine to combat morning sickness and the the other half will smoke marijuana for the same purpose.

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The mothers will each receive $300 for their participation.

The infants will undergo brain scans when they reach six months of age to identify any possible impacts and risks of drug exposure, including the development of brain disorders.

“The very few investigations that have studied prenatal cannabis exposure and infant brain development have all involved women who are polysubstance drug users,” said Dr. Natalia Kleinhans, one of the supervisors of the study.

“No one has looked at marijuana use exclusively. This study will also involve periodic drug testing during pregnancy to verify in real time that moms aren’t using other drugs, rather than relying on the mother’s self-report after the child is born.”

Do you think this study will be harmful for the mothers and babies involved?

“Smell is one of the earliest developing senses, and it activates brain regions that have cannabinoid receptors and are involved in reward and addiction. We will use fMRI to look at the integrity of the reward system that we think could be affected by marijuana — to see if there is a change,” Kleinhans explained.

According to a news release from the University of Washington, “Researchers will analyze the MRI images and behavioral data to discern whether differences exist among babies that were and were not exposed to cannabis.”

Although the purpose for the study might sound noble enough, previously conducted studies have already found disturbing results in infants whose mothers smoked marijuana during pregnancy.

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The studies above seem to show that marijuana use during pregnancy has a high correlation to negative impacts on fetal development.

While the circumstances and reasons for Kleinhans’ study may be different, the fact that taxpayer dollars are subsidizing a known harm to infants is hard to overlook.

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G.S. Hair is the former executive editor of The Western Journal.
G.S. Hair is the former executive editor of The Western Journal and vice president of digital content of Liftable Media.

After graduating law school from the Cecil C. Humphries School of Law, Mr. Hair spent a decade as an attorney practicing at the trial and appellate level in Arkansas and Tennessee. He represented clients in civil litigation, contractual disputes, criminal defense and domestic matters. He spent a significant amount of time representing indigent clients who could not afford private counsel in civil or criminal matters. A desire for justice and fairness was a driving force in Mr. Hair's philosophy of representation. Inspired by Christ’s role as an advocate on our behalf before God, he often represented clients who had no one else to fight on their behalf.

Mr. Hair has been a consultant for Republican political candidates and has crafted grassroots campaign strategies to help mobilize voters in staunchly Democrat regions of the Eastern United States.

In early 2015, he began writing for Conservative Tribune. After the site was acquired by Liftable Media, he shut down his law practice, moved to Arizona and transitioned into the position of site director. He then transitioned to vice president of content. In 2018, after Liftable Media folded all its brands into The Western Journal, he was named executive editor. His mission is to advance conservative principles and be a positive and truthful voice in the media.

He is married and has four children. He resides in Phoenix, Arizona.
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