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On Monday, the California Senate voted 33-1 to pass a bill (AB 258) that would prevent individuals from being denied an organ transplant because they use medical marijuana, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports (AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/22).
As many as 1.4 million Californians have used marijuana for medical reasons since the state legalized its use in 1996, according to a 2014 study by the Survey Research Group. Meanwhile, there are more than 1,000 dispensaries in California, according to Don Duncan, California director of the medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (California Healthline, 5/5).
Details of AB 258
Under AB 258, by Assembly member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), hospitals and physicians would be barred from disqualifying an individual as an organ recipient based solely on the fact that they use medical marijuana.
State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) presented the bill in the state Senate, noting that it could help save lives.
The bill, which has already cleared the Assembly, now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown (D) (AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/22).