Man Denied Liver Transplant for Using Prescribed Marijuana: “Probably Too Late for Me”

Friday, March 02, 2012
Norman Smith (photo: Americans for Safe Access)
Norman B. Smith, the 63-year-old cancer patient at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles who was denied a liver transplant because he used medical marijuana, says in a new interview that it’s probably too late for him to make a recovery even if he could get the surgery he needs.
Diagnosed three years ago with inoperable liver cancer, Smith was prescribed medical marijuana by Cedars-Sinai oncologist Steven Miles to help his patient deal with the effects of chemotherapy. Then Smith became eligible for a liver transplant, but was removed from the list after testing positive for marijuana.
Hospital officials insisted that Smith stop using marijuana for at least six months, undergo random drug testing, and attend weekly Alcoholics Anonymous classes before they will consider putting him back on the list. They say the policy has nothing to do with morality and is a decision based on the health of the patient.
Smith says he’s frustrated with the policy, but is resigned to the fact that he may have missed his chance at getting a new liver. “It’s probably too late for me,” Smith told Reason TV, “but I hope it makes it easier for the next guy…and there are plenty of us out there.”
Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, says she knows of a dozen patients who have died because of the same denial of a transplant.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
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L.A. Hospital Denies Liver Transplant to Medical Marijuana User Despite Prescription from Its own Doctor (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


Ken Ragge 9 years ago
there is nothing new here. the 12-step cult religion has gotten government at all levels to coerce people into their meetings. there are even "drug courts" for the explicit purpose of 12 step religious indoctrination. of course, this man did nothing wrong and nothing to be denied a liver for, but he was fair game for forced religious conversion. he was fair game because he needed something over which the modern-day descendents of frank "thank heavens for a man like adolph hilter" buchman and the oxford group have control over. the courts have ruled against 12-step coercion in the 2nd, 3rd, and 9th u.s. circuit courts. of course, this hasn't stopped 12 step coercion. the courts coerce people to "treatment" and then the treatment centers coerce them into the step groups (e.g. aa, ga, na). "internalization of spiritual principles" is required to by the treatment centers to "pass" treatment and not go to jail or get a liver. ken ragge more revealed: a critical analysis of alcoholics anonymous and the 12 step movement on line for free at:

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