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Oregon Bill Would Prevent Organ Transplant Discrimination Against Cannabis Users

A new bill proposed in Oregon would prevent medical centers from discriminating against marijuana users when it comes to organ transplants.

Oregon State Representative Rob Nosse introduced a new bill that would prevent medical providers from recommending a person be removed the organ waiting list if they test positive for marijuana. Doctors and other medical professionals use several criteria to determine whether or not a person should stay on the organ waiting list, and substance abuse is one of those criteria. While marijuana may be legal, it's also still legal for doctors to deny a cannabis user's place on the organ waiting list.

The big issue with this is some people who need an organ transplant may be using medical marijuana to help cope with their condition. So it's possible they'd be removed from the organ waiting list for taking a medicine that helps them with their condition. It's a Catch-22. Either they use medical marijuana to help relieve their symptoms, or they don't and hope they get an organ transplant.

Now, doctors aren't rejecting marijuana users because they're evil. Medical experts say that marijuana use could hurt the viability of an organ transplant and cause a person's body to reject it. So giving a marijuana user an organ transplant would lead to failure, but giving it to a non-user would lead to success.

The issue with that is there isn't much evidence to refute or support that idea. There are a few studies that suggest that marijuana use does not affect the success of certain types of organ transplants, but there isn't anything definitive.

So basically doctors are denying marijuana users' life-saving surgeries because they don't have enough information. That seems like a pretty bad reason to deny an organ transplant.

(h/t AP News)


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