Capitol Alert

Assembly passes bill to end organ transplant black list for pot users

mjones@sacbee.com

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.

Call Jeremy B. White, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5543.

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