New marijuana bill in Oregon to help consumers receive organ transplants

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The bill would prevent organ transplant centers from rejecting patients based on marijuana use

A new bill has been drafted in Oregon that seeks to make it easier for medical marijuana patients to qualify for organ transplants. House Bill (HB) 2687 would make it illegal for organ transplant centers to reject certain individuals based on their medical marijuana use and would give those individuals access to much-needed transplant options.

HB 2687 is sponsored by Portland Representative Rob Nosse, who was inspired by the testimony given by a woman during a hearing led by the Oregon House Committee on Health Care. During the testimony, Robin Socherman affirmed that she was not able to be an organ donor for her husband because he uses medical marijuana.

Socherman explained in her testimony, “The transplant center was clear that while my husband would not be allowed to use his medical cannabis, he was free to use opiates. This seems irrational, considering the current opiate crises in our state and nation. The medical doctor shamed us and treated my husband like a street junkie, telling us how disappointed he was that my husband was a drug user. I couldn’t believe it.”

Hospitals in the state oppose the bill, arguing that there are already too few organs for the number of individuals waiting for transplants. While there is a well-documented deficit of donors, the argument is weak. The Socherman case is a perfect example of how.

Oregon isn’t the only state to have limitations on donor procedures. California and Maine, among others, have also reportedly removed patients from donor waiting lists because they legally consumed marijuana under the advice of a physician.