What if you were desperately waiting for an organ transplant to keep you alive, but your doctors kick you off the organ transplant list because you use marijuana.
Hydroponics nutrients and cannabis growing pioneer Michael Straumietis says cannabis-using transplant patients are experiencing “life-threatening medical discrimination against our marijuana community.”
“The perfect example is Garry Godfrey, a Maine resident,” Straumietis explains. “Garry needed a new kidney. He was on the transplant list for nine years. But the Maine Transplant Program booted him—because he uses medical marijuana.”
Garry’s transplant doctors claim marijuana can cause “fungal infections” that harm transplant patients, so they disqualified him from receiving a donor organ, Straumietis reports.
As is common across the country, most doctors are prejudiced against marijuana users and will seek to disqualify them from treatments… and transplant patients are no exception.
“Sure, improperly grown, dried, and cured buds might contain contaminants, nutrients salts, molds, and fungi that harm marijuana users,” Straumietis says. “Lots of things harm marijuana users and organ transplant patients. Surgery and pharmaceutical drugs harm us a lot more than marijuana ever could. To deny someone a life-saving organ transplant because they use marijuana is cruel and unacceptable.”
Straumietis, founder of cannabis nutrients company Advanced Nutrients, says his home state of California, along with Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Washington, have laws that at least partially protect marijuana users against organ transplant discrimination.
In other states, he says, medical discrimination against marijuana users is totally legal.
“We need full protection federally. Doctors and hospitals must be prohibited from discriminating against marijuana users,” Straumietis says.
The big news the medical profession hasn’t embraced is that marijuana helps patients survive organ transplantation, Straumietis points out.
He notes that researchers at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine learned that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) delays organ rejection.
Organ rejection is the primary cause of complications and even death for some organ recipients.
“It’s exciting to see clinical proof that THC decreases transplant organ rejection. Too many doctors and hospital directors have old-school drug war ideas about cannabis,” Straumietis says.
He says patients tell him of doctors, health insurance companies, and hospital officials “playing god with their lives by subjectively deciding, based on prejudice against marijuana, to deny an organ transplant for no legitimate reason.”
“Doctors state in public that they disqualified patients from organ transplants solely because marijuana is illegal, or even just because they don’t like marijuana,” Straumietis recalls. “In at least one case we know of, an organ transplant patient died because a program’s anti-marijuana policies delayed necessary medical care.”
Straumietis is no stranger to anti-marijuana discrimination, although he hasn’t suffered medical harm because of it.
He says city officials in Los Angeles shut down a million-dollar Super Bowl mansion party he was planning—because he’s an internationally-famous marijuana advocate.
“Mainstream media talks about marijuana legalization as if marijuana people are now treated fairly, but that’s far from true. Look what’s happening to sick and dying people who use marijuana. Look at the ominous threats the new attorney general has made against the legalized cannabis industry,” Straumietis says.
He advises marijuana-using organ transplant patients to “aggressively advocate for your rights.”
If you get hassled by doctors because you use cannabis, ask them for proof that marijuana negatively affects organ transplantation.
If doctors claim your marijuana use endangers the success of your transplant, provide doctors evidence that cannabis helps transplant patients, Straumietis advises.
If you suspect transplant doctors or other medical personnel are discriminating against you because you use marijuana, contact an attorney.
Victims of marijuana-related organ transplant discrimination in legalized marijuana states could also consider contacting their local legislator, a health care ombudsman, the state attorney general, and the media, Straumietis says.
He advises organ transplant patients or their caregivers to grow their own marijuana using Advanced Nutrients formulas and the most professional grow room hygiene and bud processing practices.
This gives you the opportunity to produce clean, safe, potent cannabis that perfectly suits your medical and recreational needs.
Straumietis notes that health insurance companies are also legally allowed to discriminate against medical marijuana patients.
“Prejudice against marijuana kills people,” Straumietis laments. “That’s why the marijuana community refuses to accept discrimination against our cannabis-using brothers and sisters who need an organ transplant to save their lives.”