California Governor Gavin Newsom signed anti-discrimination legislation today, Assembly Bill 1954, prohibiting physicians and surgeons from automatically denying either treatments or medications to patients solely because they consume medical cannabis or because they have tested a positive for THC on a drug screen.
Previously, medical professionals possessed the ability to discriminate against those using medical cannabis. In many instances, health professionals would deny pain treatments and medications to patients solely because they had tested positive for the presence of THC.
“The passage of AB 1954 beings and end to the this long-standing and discriminatory practice,” said NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano. “With dozens of studies showing that cannabis often leads to a reduction in pain patients’ use of potentially more harmful opioids, it made no sense for doctors engage in this sort of flagrantly discriminatory and destructive behavior.”
California NORML‘s Director Dale Gieringer added: “We have heard innumerable complaints from chronic pain patients who have been denied treatment by their doctors or clinics simply for testing positive for cannabis. We thank the Governor and legislature for ending this practice by approving AB 1954 with unanimous bipartisan support.”
Assembly Bill 1954 is one of nearly a dozen cannabis-reform bills now awaiting action from Gov. Newsom. Other bills before the Governor seek to provide employment protections for those who consume cannabis off the job, expand parental rights, and expedite the process of sealing past criminal convictions.