'Cannabis strengthened our bond': can pot make you a better parent? – The Guardian

High time: a grownup’s guide to the cannabis revolution ‘Cannabis strengthened our bond’: can pot make you a better parent?

Touting the benefits of ‘being present’, some parents claim marijuana helps with their job – but the facts are uncertain

Supporters see parenting as another opportunity to destigmatize weed and draw a favorable comparison with alcohol. Illustration: George Wylesol

An Oregon mother posted a photo last year of herself breastfeeding her baby while she took a bong hit. Naturally, the image went viral.

Amid the expected backlash, some much milder criticism came from Jenn Lauder, an Oregon cannabis activist who co-founded Splimm, a newsletter on pot and parenting, with her husband. Lauder chided the breastfeeder for exposing the baby to smoke and for the “optics” of the image.

“That mom could have made better choices,” Lauder told me recently. The former teacher has said that while she did not use cannabis when pregnant with her daughter, she resumed shortly after giving birth, and while breastfeeding, to mitigate postpartum depression.

Lauder added: “I’ve yet to see compelling evidence that a lactating mother’s cannabis consumption produces any negative effects for a nursing child.”

Doctors would not agree. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is transmitted in breastmilk, according to a recent study. And while the effect on newborns hasn’t been intensely studied, the chemical is widely believed to impair brain development.

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