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: