AB 258

California: Governor Signs Bill Ending Transplant Discrimination Against Marijuana Patients

CaliforniaMedicalMarijuana

California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday signed AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act. AB 258 prohibits discrimination against medical marijuana patients in the organ transplant process, unless a doctor has determined that medicinal cannabis use is clinically significant to the transplant process.

Medical cannabis patients in California have been routinely removed from the organ transplant waiting list if they test positive for cannabis use – even legal doctor-recommended medical marijuana. AB 258 was authored by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) and sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA).

“AB 258’s passage is the result of ASA’s membership tirelessly working for over two years,” said Don Duncan, ASA’s California director. “In California, legal medical cannabis patients will never again face a choice between their doctor-recommended medicine and a life-saving organ transplant.

"Governor Brown deserves credit for protecting medical cannabis patients from this harmful discriminatory practice that has no basis in medical research,” Duncan said.

On June 15, more than 200 patients and advocates participated in the ASA California Citizen Lobby Day, which focused on educating lawmakers about AB 258 and other medical cannabis legislation. During the lobby day ASA began a postcard campaign to encourage Governor Brown to support AB 258.

California: Legislature Moves To End Transplant Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients

MedicalMarijuanaBottle[TheDailyChronic]

Bill Headed To Governor Jerry Brown's Desk

The California Senate on Monday approved AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, by an overwhelming margin of 33-1. AB 258 prohibits discrimination against medical cannabis patients in the organ transplant process, unless a doctor has determined that medical cannabis use is clinically significant to the transplant process.

Medical cannabis patients in California are routinely removed from the organ transplant waiting list if they test positive for cannabis use – even legal doctor-recommended medical cannabis. AB 258 was authored by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) and sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA).

“AB 258 is about fundamental fairness and compassion,” said Don Duncan, ASA’s California director. “Legal medical cannabis patients should never face a choice between their doctor-recommended medicine and a life-saving organ transplant.

"AB 258 will help the law catch up with science, which has shown that medical cannabis patients are just as likely to benefit from an organ transplant as other patients,” Duncan said.

On June 15, more than 200 patients and advocates participated in the ASA California Citizen Lobby Day, which focused on educating lawmakers about AB 258 and other medical cannabis legislation. During the lobby day, ASA began a postcard campaign to encourage Governor Jerry Brown to support AB 258.

California: Legislator Introduces Bill To End Organ Transplant Denials For Medical Marijuana Patients

MarcLevineCaliforniaAssembly

Americans for Safe Access sponsors bill introduced by Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) to end discriminatory practice

California State Assembly member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) has introduced AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, a bill aimed at preventing medical marijuana patients from being unduly denied organ transplants.

The Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act is sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which has long advocated for patients seeking organ transplants, including Norman B. Smith, a medical marijuana patient who died in 2012 after being denied a liver transplant at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Specifically, AB 258 states that, "A hospital, physician and surgeon, procurement organization, or other person shall not determine the ultimate recipient of an anatomical gift based solely upon a potential recipient's status as a qualified patient...or based solely on a positive test for the use of medical marijuana by a potential recipient who is a qualified patient." The bill simply establishes the same protections that currently exist for other transplant candidates with mental or physical disabilities.

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