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Dear Stoner: How does marijuana affect breastfeeding?

Dear Stoner: I'm a new mom. While I never smoked during my pregnancy, I really miss my doobies. The only problem now is my boobies. Specifically, I'm breast-feeding, and I'm wondering if I can pass THC on to my baby through breast milk. Also, could that lead to my child being taken away if a nosy doctor ever wanted to test him?

Mama Ganja

Dear MG: I'm not a doctor, but there are people who are and who study such things, and even they can't come to an agreement on this issue. Most studies do show that you can pass on THC to infants via breast milk — roughly .8 percent of what you ingested yourself. One study out of Texas Tech University concluded that the levels aren't enough to get your baby stoned, but they could possibly alter long-term neuro-behavioral functions. The study also noted that infants exposed to THC in breast milk can test positive for up to three weeks. And, yes, to answer your question: That would be more than enough for a nosy doctor to call the state on a parent. It's happened, too: In 2012, a mother from Butte County, California, who was a medical marijuana patient had her children taken away after one tested positive for cannabis that was likely consumed through breast milk. A few other scary factoids: Higher rates of SIDS deaths have been noted in babies whose mothers smoked marijuana and breast-fed, and marijuana could negatively impact a mother's ability to produce milk.

But what we've also gleaned from the reports is the reality that hundreds of thousands of breast-feeding mothers enjoy a joint now and then. If you were born in the late '60s or '70s, your parents may even have been a part of that population. Laws aside, we don't think having a doobie now and then is going to hurt, especially if you employ the old pump-and-dump method the next day, like countless breastfeeding mothers who drink alcohol; after all, if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. But don't go overboard: Remember, breastfeeding is one of the most important bonds a mother can have with her baby, and not all moms are able to do it.

Dear Stoner: Will the new pot shops opening in January require a support badge for employment?

Joseph D.

Dear Joseph: Yes, the badging requirements for the recreational industry are about the same as for the medical industry — including background checks and fingerprinting.


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