Safe Access)
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles is refusing to grant a liver transplant to a cancer patient because he used medical marijuana, which not only is legal under California law but also was prescribed by a Cedars doctor.

Diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer in 2009, Norman B. Smith, 63, has been treated at Cedars-Sinai by oncologist Steven Miles, who approved medicinal marijuana in part to help his patient cope with the effects of chemotherapy. Smith became eligible for a liver transplant last year, but was removed from the list in February after testing positive for marijuana.

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Hospital officials are insisting that Smith stop using marijuana for at least six months, undergo random drug testing, and participate in weekly substance-abuse counseling before they will consider putting him back on the list.

Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a medical marijuana advocacy group, publicly urged Cedars-Sinai to re-list Smith for a liver transplant and to alter its transplant eligibility policy.

“Denying necessary transplants to medical marijuana patients is the worst kind of discrimination,” said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford. “Cedars-Sinai would not be breaking any laws, federal or otherwise, by granting Norman Smith a liver transplant, and it’s certainly the ethical thing to do.”

Other medical marijuana patients in need of transplants have been denied by Cedars-Sinai and other hospitals in the U.S., according to ASA.

Source: AllGov – News – L.A. Hospital Denies Liver Transplant to Medical Marijuana User Despite Prescription from Its own Doctor