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This presentation will examine the health, legal, and child welfare implications of perinatal cannabis use in the US. We will use examples from our work to discuss tools for a resilience analysis that can be used with all families, even as a mandated reporter. All learnings and tools will be centered in harm reduction and will offer ideas for reducing stigma associated with perinatal drug use within an advocacy-oriented paradigm.

CEUs will be offered for this webinar. The webinar will be recorded and can be accessed for 1 week following the live-broadcast. If you are unable to attend live, please still register and the link to the recording will be e-mailed to you following the webinar.


After completing this webinar participants will be able to…

  • Explain the history of cannabis use in the United States.
  • Describe how harm reduction and birth justice can be used in conversations about perinatal cannabis use within the context of decriminalization and apply it to mandated reporting.
  • Identify the difference between the cannabis molecules that produce a psychoactive effect and those used in toxicology analysis.


Community Partners FBO Maternal Mental Health NOW is the sponsor of continuing education for this learning module and is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Community Partners FBO Maternal Mental Health NOW as the sponsor maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


Alicia D. Bonaparte, PhD (she/her)

Maternal Mental Health NOW | 2023 Webinar Speaker Dr. Alicia D. BonaparteDr. Alicia D. Bonaparte is currently Full Professor of Sociology at Pitzer College and trained as a medical sociologist with a specialization in reproductive health, health disparities, and female crime and deviance. She earned her MA and PhD from Vanderbilt University in Sociology and her BA in Sociology (cum laude) from Spelman College. As a Black feminist scholar, her research interests include the gendered social hierarchy within American medicine, the intersection of race and gender in healthcare practices, and racial disparities. She is co-editor of the anthology Birthing Justice: Black Women, Pregnancy, and Childbirth, contributor to Routledge’s Motherhood Companion examining the collusion of race, class, and gender regarding choices about midwife-attended births as well as Routledge’s Black Feminist Sociology examining how non-U.S. based global health researchers utilizes a Black feminist sociology and identifies how and why this model foments further advocacy-oriented evolution within research and interventionist approaches geared towards Black women within the African diaspora. and she’s currently writing a forthcoming book Labors of Birthing Work: The Persecution and Prosecution of Granny Midwives in South Carolina (with University of South Carolina Press). Dr. Bonaparte has been an invited speaker on birthing justice and reproductive justice for various organizations and institutions such as Doula Training International, UCLA, University of Southern California, and University of California-San Francisco.

Heather S. Thompson, PhD (she/they)

Maternal Mental Health NOW | 2023 Webinar Speaker Heather ThompsonHeather Thompson (she/they), MS, PhD is a molecular and cellular biologist, clinical researcher, birthworker, and queer parent with non-binary gender. Heather has worked for equity, access and autonomy in childbirth for more than 25 years, and was part of the team that passed the historic Colorado Birth Equity Bill Package in 2021. Currently she is the Co-Deputy Director of Elephant Circle, a birth justice organization, doing work that allows her to combine her background in birth access and equity with science and community organizing. Heather has been educating consumers and clinicians about perinatal cannabis since its liberalization in Colorado in 2012, work that has resulted two peer-reviewed publications. Heather’s application to birth justice issues goes back to her work as the Director of Research at a community birth center in Colorado (2010-2017), and participation in an NIH Task Force evaluating the evidence-based literature on SIDS and bedsharing/cosleeping in the context of AAP guidelines on infant sleep. These experiences, in addition to 19 years of postpartum doula work, feeds Heather’s passion for supporting family ecology by helping families navigate their own journey, particularly as it relates to perinatal care, birth choices, and legal cannabis. Born and raised in Colorado, Heather lives in Denver and enjoys being outside around a campfire with her partner, two kids and larger community.


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