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According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, more pregnant women in the Golden State are smoking pot than ever.

Researchers looked at trends of prenatal cannabis use from 2009-2016 using data from a large California health-care system.

There is also a notable uptick from 12.5 percent to 21.8 percent in the use of marijuana among pregnant Californian teens younger than 18, the researchers found. A total of 3.3 percent of women older than 34 also reported to using the drug during their pregnancy in 2016, an increase from 2.1 percent in 2009.

For instance, moms-to-be younger than 18 years were only 1.4% of the overall sample in the study, but 18 to 24 were 15.8%, 25 to 34 were 61.6%, and older than 34 were 21.2%.

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"Of concern" to the researchers was that fact that marijuana use was particularly common among younger pregnant women. However, there is insufficient data on link between marijuana use and fetal development.

One experts speculates that the rise might be partially explained by the increased availability of legal marijuana in recent years.

Broadening the scope, CNN noted a separate study published in JAMA that revealed an increase in the use of marijuana among pregnant women across the US had increased from 2.37 percent in 2002 to 3.85 percent in 2014.

Californians voted to legalise recreational use of the drug in 2016. "California legalized medical marijuana use in 1996, so they have grown up with the idea of it not only not being illegal but being a medical therapy". "So I think the idea that use is rising is just because of the greater legal exposure to marijuana that women have today versus 20 years ago". KABC reported that the study suggested some women use the drug to alleviate morning sickness and anxiety.