Man Denied Liver Transplant Because He Uses Medical Marijuana

Due to the illegal nature of marijuana at the federal level, people know they're taking a risk when using, even if it's legal in their state. But now a man could lose his life all because he used cannabis.

Rolando Rosa was about to receive a life-saving liver transplant in Texas when he was suddenly told he was being denied. The reason? The hospital found THC and CBD in his system. Rosa uses marijuana as a way to help deal with his pain, and as an alternative to using opioids. Now he's in a waiting stage as it's not clear if he'll be eligible for a liver transplant in the near future. Rosa suffers from hepatic encephalopathy, and will likely need a liver transplant very soon.

Rosa lives in Texas, where medical marijuana is not legal, but even if he were in a legal state it's possible this situation still could've occurred. While some states with legal recreational or medical marijuana do have laws in place stating that marijuana users cannot be discriminated against in organ transplants, others do not. And even in some states where it's not supposed to be a factor, doctors still will refuse a transplant for cannabis users.

Medical professionals say the justification is that they do not know how cannabis could affect immunocompromised patients, such as people who've undergone organ transplants, and that there's not enough research into the drug to fully ensure that it won't affect the process.

Seems like a poor justification to let someone die.

(h/t Herb)


President Trump's 2020 budget request includes a loophole that would let Washington, DC finally open up dispensaries for recreational cannabis. Although DC voters passed a ballot initiative to legalize recreational cannabis back in 2014, Congress has used its power over the nation's capital to prevent it from selling cannabis for recreational use. Right now, local dispensaries can only sell medical marijuana to registered patients thanks to Congress, which controls spending in the District of Columbia.

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