What part of the medical marijuana game is this!?

In a very troubling story out of Los Angeles’s renowned Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the institution reportedly denied a liver cancer patient a life-saving transplant because he smoked the weed that his doctor (at the same hospital) prescribed him. Word …

Norman B. Smith was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer back in 2009, and a result he requested and was given a medical marijuana prescription by his Cedars-Sinai oncologist, Dr. Steven Miles, The Americans for Safe Access advocacy group reports.

Cannabis is proven to help cancer patients deal with the effects of chemotherapy, and in this instance, helping the 63-year-old man mitigate the pain from a previous back surgery, but it may also cost him his life …

According to reports, in September of 2010, Norman became eligible for a liver transplant, but was taken off of the transplant list just two months shy of receiving it. Apparently, testing positive for prescribed marijuana is in non-compliance with the hospital’s substance abuse contract.

To add to this man’s terrible misfortune, sources point out that medical marijuana use is completely legal in California and studies have shown it poses no medical risk to liver transplantation.

This isn’t the first time a liver cancer patient was removed from the transplant list due to prescribed marijuana, but the medical community still hasn’t learned its lesson. Two men died in 2008 after being denied a transplant because of their “substance abuse.”

We know medical marijuana is a sensitive issue, with many arguing its pros and cons, but denying a man his life because he used a treatment method prescribed by his doctor shows the ugly side of hospital politics.

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  1. This is horrible. It’s unfortunate that someone had to die because he was trying to cope with the pain with medical marijuana. If medical marijuana is used, doctors and hospitals need see the users as patients not potheads.

  2. This is a case of not everyone in California agrees with legalizing marijuana for medical use and this private, not government sponsored, hospital’s board has drawn its line in the sand by have a strict policy regarding drug abuse. And, this is because a good number of people who need organ, i.e. liver, transplants are addicts, i.e. heroin, etc., and in the past have failed to gain more than a few more years of life from their liver transplants, because they do not quit the drugs or went back to the drugs when they were feeling better. When the new liver fails in a few years, the whole process was a waste of time and resources.

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