CALIFORNIA: Awakening each morning in pain caused by various surgeries, Yami Bolanos engages in her daily routine of relief, which she finds only with cannabis oil. A cancer survivor who underwent a liver transplant 19 years ago, she is now in need of another organ donation. But like others who use cannabis for relief, she has been kicked off the waiting list of potential organ recipients.
Bolanos, a 58-year-old resident of Santa Monica, is familiar with the sad history of those who have been denied organs due to medicinal marijuana use. One infamous victim was cancer patient Norman Smith, who passed away after he was denied a liver transplant in 2011 by Cedars Sinai for smoking the plant. He was told to quit smoking it for six months and submit to random drug tests — only then would they would place him back onto the organ recipient list.
Smith followed Cedars’ rules, but did not receive a transplant in time and died in 2012. Bolanos fears that she will also pass, if not put back on the list and given a transplant by her doctor at UCSF.