VIDEO: Marijuana patient booted from liver transplant program

Norman Smith is a cancer patient at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and was on the hospital’s liver-transplant short list. Then his oncologist prescribed medical marijuana to him for pain management, which he began using, which lead to his being tossed from the transplant list.

According to Reason TV, a letter from the hospital informed Smith that smoking marijuana had rendered him ineligible for a transplant. Smith’s cancer has returned and without a new liver he will die.


“It’s only my life that I’m fighting for,” says Smith. “What do I have to hide? I have nothing to hide.”

Smith’s situation represents one of the first battles being fought over the place of medical marijuana in medicine and it has left him in limbo.

Cedars-Sinai declined interview requests but referred Reason TV to Peggy Stewart, a clinical social worker with UCLA’s transplant program, which holds a similar position to Cedars-Sinai on medical marijuana.

“Marijuana is considered substance abuse,” says Stewart. “The legality of it is really not an issue.”

Video from Reason TV:

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.


  1. the federal government is using this drug to pay taxes and millions of dollars are being made. I am on the transplant list too but know I can’t smoke it because the surgeons do not transplant any person smoking marijuana.their going to let us die when Joe snow can can smoke it and never gets problem what so ever.what a bunch of shit……..

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