In Oregon, a bill has been proposed that would bar organ transplant center from restricting transplants to patients based on their use of medical marijuana. House Bill 2687 would help clear the path to a transplant for patients currently using cannabis to deal with chronic pain and other conditions—but critics say it would create unsafe conditions for health care, particularly given the scarcity of organs currently available for transplant.
The bill is sponsored by Portland representative Rob Nosse. He says it was inspired by the Oregon House Committee on Health Care testimony of a woman who is banned from being her husband’s organ donor because he uses cannabis.
Robin Socherman testified that her partner Jake takes medical marijuana to deal with lower back pain caused from his polycystic kidney disease. When he was referred for a transplant, the family discovered he was ineligible due to his six years of medical marijuana use.
“The transplant center was clear that while my husband would not be allowed to use his medical cannabis, he was free to use opiates,” Socherman testified. “This seems irrational, considering the current opiate crises in our state and nation.”
“The medical doctor shamed us and treated my husband