Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hospital kicks terminally ill cancer patient off of her prescribed pot


Angel Raich, a longtime medical-marijuana advocate, says she left USCF Medical Center after she was admonished for using the vaporized marijuana her doctor had prescribed

Medical marijuana user Angel Raich, who fought for the right to use medical cannabis in the U.S. Supreme Court, was booted out by UCSF Medical Center for using her prescribed marijuana.


A terminally ill cancer patient says she had no choice but to leave a San Francisco hospital after staffers demanded she stop using her prescribed medical marijuana — a move her doctor said was tantamount to "malpractice."
Angel Raich, 46, a longtime medical-marijuana advocate who has a terminal brain tumor, says she left USCF Medical Center on Monday night after she was admonished for using the vaporized marijuana her doctor had prescribed, according to KNTV/NBC Bay Area.
Raich said that shortly after using the pot, an employee at the hospital told her they'd "call the feds" unless she stopped.
"I'm in a state university hospital in the state of California and I have a right to have the same medical care that any other patient does," the mother of two told KNTV after leaving the hospital.

She subsequently suffered what the TV station said appeared to be a seizure.
Dr. Frank Lucido, who prescribed that Raich use medical marijuana every two hours while she’s awake, said denying the drug amounts to "malpractice."
Raich also suffers from seizures, chronic pain and radiation necrosis, a side effect of radiation therapy that kills healthy tissue. She is now being treated at another San Francisco hospital.
UCSF said in a statement that it was concerned for the well-being of its staff, and that smoking indoors violated the hospital’s smoke-free policy.
"Even a vaporized form of medical marijuana releases particles in the air that are damaging to the lung." the hospital said.
UCSF added, "Under federal and state law, a physician is at legal risk related to any activity that could be construed as prescribing medical marijuana to a patient.”
UCSF is one of the few teaching hospitals in the U.S. researching marijuana's efficiency in treating cancer and pain patients.

Raich has been advocating medical marijuana use for a decade after DEA agents raided the residence that housed six pot plants that provided Raich with her medicine.
Her fight made it all the way to the Supreme Court.

In June 2005, the court ruled against her, finding that medical marijuana users and their suppliers could be tried for breaching federal drug laws even if they lived in a state such as California, where medical use of the drug is legal.


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