Marijuana Patient Denied Transplant Has 90 Days To Live

Cancer patient Norman Smith went to Cedars-Sinai hospital, June 2, 2012, after almost fainting. Because of his weakness and the severity of his cancer, Smith's doctor told him that he has 90 days to live. Smith has been in need of a liver transplant for over a year now, but was denied one by Cedars-Sinai's transplant program after smoking medical marijuana.

"Physically, I'm challenged. As far as my emotional state, I'm adjusting," Smith said on a phone call from his hospital bed this morning.

Because the waiting process was prolonged, Smith's cancer got worse and he says that his only shot now is a transplant outside the United States.

"It's unlikely this would be put together in time," said Smith.

Reason TV covered Smith's story in Transplant Denied: How Medical Marijuana Policy Kills Patients.

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  • Hugh Akston||

    That will teach people to get cancer and then try to smoke pot. Another victory in the War on Drugs.

  • JW||

    Rules are rules. Maybe he'll learn his lesson now.

    I have to wonder that if the supply of organs wasn't so artificially restricted by the ridiculous policies of our betters that mandate only non-monetary donations, the criteria of transplant requirement might not be so absurdly restrictive and this man wouldn't be dying from their callousness.

  • jimbeaux||

    Did you watch the video? If you did, perhaps you missed this quote: "Smith's oncologist at Ceder Sinai prescribed medical marijuana to alleviate pain brought on by back surgery and chemotherapy" It's not that he didn't follow the rules - a cancer doctor at the same hospital PRESCRIBED the medical marijuana. The outrageous part is that he was denied the transplant because of failing the substance abuse policy, when he was not a marijuana user prior to it being prescribed. It's not like he was a pot-head and didn't admit it and then got caught. The only person who should suffer any consequences of this horrible situation is the oncologist who prescribed it - he/she should have known that it would cause a denial of transplant. He, and the hospital, should be sued and the damages should be high enough to allow him to get a transplant elsewhere.

  • Mo' $parky||

    People should be allowed to live how they want, yadda yadda.

    That being said, I can't understand why someone would want to continue given this miserable state of being. Why do some people have such a hard time dying with dignity?

  • affenkopf||

    Because death is final.

  • Duncan20903||

    Just go gently into that dark night, right Sparky? Say, why wait, put your money where your mouth is, just kill yourself and get it over with.

  • Aresen||

    One would truly have to have a sick mind to approve of this kind of policy: To condemn a man to a slow death because he uses a substance you don't approve of.

  • Watoosh||

    See, this just proves our wise overlords are right about marijuana!

    "Because of... smoking medical marijuana... Smith's cancer got worse..."

    Time to quit whining and die, junkie. At least he won't be peddling heroin to kids in preschool playgrounds anymore.

  • Robert||

    I initially parsed the headline as saying that a marijuana patient denied that a transplant (i.e. the organ being transplanted) had 90 days to live, and I thought, of course, those things have to be done much quicker than that, who's the nut saying he could use a 90 day old explanted organ?

  • acidovorax||

    I made the mistake of checking out the original link to this story and saw that the representative of Cedars-Sinai was flat out lying about the "risk of Aspergillus infection". This fungus is ubiquitous and can be found in large concentrations in the environment, frequently. To claim that any aspergillosis is directly related to marijuana use is pure horseshit.

  • a_grigorova||

    Getting an organ transplant or other surgeries outside of the US is a better option anyway. The US has too many rules and regulations which prevent practically anyone from receiving an organ they direly need for any number of reasons.

    Further, medical cost have become to expensive because the AMA artificially limits the number of doctors which crushes completion thus keeps salaries and other cost high.

    This is not the case in many of the countries out side of the US.

    Also many other countries also have competent doctors who are western trained. Many of these doctors are highly trained, just as good, or in some cases better, than their physician counter parts in the us.

    I am an American who lives outside of America. The medical care we have in Bulgaria is top notch and it does not cost an arm and a leg. Mind you I pay cash for medical care here, as I don't want nor qualify for national heath care. I could get private insurance, but there is no point as the cost are low enough for me to pay on an as needed basis. I will also be receiving surgery in about a month at a low price on a procedure that has not even been approved in the US.

    I just hope this poor man can make it out of the country for his transplant!

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