A bill that would prohibit medical professionals from denying organ transplants to medical marijuana users has advanced in the California legislature.

AB 258 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) was recently passed by the Assembly.

It still needs to get through the Senate before it can be submitted to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature.

Some organ transplant hopefuls have been taken off waiting lists after it was discovered they were medical cannabis users. Levine says people have died because of this discrimination.

His bill “would prohibit a hospital, physician, or any participant in the organ transplant process from using a patient’s use of medical cannabis as the sole reason in denying his or her eligibility as an organ recipient, except when medical cannabis use is clinically significant to that decision,” according to a statement.

The lawmaker notes that while cancer patients are often prescribed marijuana to ease pain, it’s these very patients who often end up in line for a transplant they can’t get because of their pot recommendations.

Says Levine:

Arcane public health policies treat medical cannabis patients as drug abusers. As a result, too often, patients are denied a life-saving organ transplant solely because they are prescribed medical cannabis. Many of these patients have died after being dropped from the list, and many more are in jeopardy right now. This legislation will save lives by ensuring medical cannabis patients are not discriminated against in the organ transplant process.

About The Author


Raul Duke has been working as a journalist in Southern California for two decades. The medical marijuana juggernaut is one of his many beats. He’s a longtime Westside resident who needs to renew his doctor’s recommendation soon. If you have news tips, reach out: raul@the420times.com

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