At the University of Washington, the transplant committee said it reviewed "behavioral concerns such as a history of substance abuse or dependency. If such a history exists, then the committee looks at the period of abstinence the candidate has demonstrated to date," as well as the patient's efforts to maintain abstinence and potential to abuse again.And here is where I say WTF? Medical marijuana is used to treat glaucoma - relieves the pressure in the eye. It is used in diabetes, AIDS, high blood pressure, and to relieve the nausea associated with chemotherapy.
Nevertheless, two recent organ transplant cases were taken off the list because they said they'd used medical marijuana UNDER A DOCTOR'S SUPERVISION, BY PRESCRIPTION. Timothy Garon died earlier this month after being turned down for a liver transplant. He admitted using Medical Marijuana, and this in part made him ineligiable. Jonathon Simchen is a diabetic, and he's also been turned down. His kidneys and pancreas have failed.
There are any number of factors that determine a person's eligiablity for a transplant. Among those are smoking anything, let alone Medical Marijuana. But to consider this substance abuse is a form of insanity.
Yesterday, I received a text message telling me that a friend of mine in Chicago just got a kidney transplant. I know this gentleman through AA, we are both sober nearly 20 years. He is diabetic, and he's got a whole lot of other things wrong. He was a serious drunk back in the day. But he got his kidney and I'm thrilled for him. And then I read the article today and said a silent prayer. Thank the powers that be that he never told anyone on the transplant committee his drinking and drug use history.
And here's the deal. I'm clean and sober; yet if a doctor were to prescribe marijuana to treat an illness, I would take it and not consider it to be substance abuse. My goal is to live a healthy(ish) life, and a long one, despite certain chronic conditions that effect my day-to-day. But if I were in the above described situation, I would not admit to using medical marijuana. If I used it, and needed a transplant - no way would that go on my form.
Sometimes, ommission is the best policy.