By Jeremy B. White
Medical cannabis patients could not be denied organ transplants solely based on their marijuana use under a bill the California Assembly passed on Thursday.
Individual hospitals have leeway to set separate guidelines for who can receive transplants, and Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, said some discriminate against Californians who are legally using marijuana for medicinal purposes.
“Too often patients are denied a life-saving organ transplant solely because they are prescribed medical cannabis,” Levine said.
Assembly Bill 258, which passed passed the Assembly on a 52-8 vote and now heads to the Senate, bars hospitals from making transplant decisions solely based on cannabis use, though it allows exceptions if a doctor determines that an individual’s weed consumption is “medically significant.”
Lending support to that argument, the California Medical Association passed a resolution earlier this year opposing restrictions on organ donors or recipients stemming solely from cannabis use. As of Thursday, the organization had not adopted a formal position on AB 258.