It’s not uncommon for marijuana patients to be taken off of organ donor lists after testing positive for cannabis use. The practice represented yet another vestigial piece of bureaucracy that neither served the community nor reflected the values of the culture. Essentially, if you were very sick, you could either use medical marijuana or you could get a transplant.

But, as of January 1st of 2016, that choice will no longer be necessary in California. That’s when assembly bill AB 258, which Gov. Jerry Brown Monday, goes into effect. The legislature was designed to prevent patients from being refused an organ transplant because of their status as a patient or the results of a drug test.

Assemblyman Marc Levin (D – San Rafael) authored the bill. He said in a statement AB 258 would combat “arcane public health policies treat medical cannabis patients as drug abusers.”

The new bill follows a grassroots campaign from Americans For Safe Access (ASA) which, as reported by TheWeedBlog, which rallied 200 supporters to participate in the ASA California Citizen Lobby Day and brought about a postcard campaign directed at Gov. Brown.

ASA’s Executive Director Steph Sherer said, “AB 258’s passage represents a big victory in the fight to end discrimination against medical cannabis patients in California… With AB 258 passing by such overwhelming margins in California we hope to see more states follow suit by passing legislation to end organ transplant discrimination against medical cannabis patients.”

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