Patient Who Was Denied Liver Transplant For Using Medical Marijuana Dies 12/18/98

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California NORML is sorry to note the death of Ed Plotner, who was removed from a liver transplant list for using medical marijuana. Plotner, who suffered multiple hepatitis infections, had used marijuana to combat severe appetite and weight loss. He was accepted but then dropped by a liver transplant program which demanded that he pass a drug test for marijuana.

Unlike other drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and alcohol,
marijuana is not a risk factor for hepatitis. Even though many patients find medical marijuana is useful -- not only for weight gain, but also for helping to avoid drugs that are toxic to the liver -- it is banned in most transplant programs.

California NORML attorney Eric Shevin attempted to get Plotner restored to the transplant list, but his efforts proved too late. After being kept off the list a year, Ed expired on November 21.

"Ed was a tragic victim of drug testing abuse," says California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer. "He was killed by the anti-marijuana bigotry and ignorance of medical 'experts' who should have known better."

Ironically, Plotner, who was from Redding, California, had sought treatment in San Francisco, where voters overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana by 80%-20%.

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Issue #71, 12/18/98 Diana McCague Sentenced for Syringe Exchange | Action Opportunity: Protest on Steps of New Jersey Statehouse | Bills Seeking to Decriminalize Marijuana, Legalize Medical Marijuana and Legalize Hemp Cultivation to be Introduced in New Hampshire Legislature in 1999 | Patient Who Was Denied Liver Transplant For Using Medical Marijuana Dies | Media Spotlight: Drug Smuggling by US Marines a Growing Problem | Editorial: Unrighteous Indignation
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