Assembly Bill 1954 was signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom last week. This anti-discrimination legislation prohibits doctors and surgeons from automatically denying treatments or medications to patients solely because they consume medical cannabis or have tested positive for THC on a drug screen.
Before the groundbreaking legislation, medical professionals maintained the ability to discriminate against those consuming medical cannabis. In multiple cases, health professionals would reject pain treatments and medications for patients solely because of the presence of THC (one of the main molecules present in cannabis) in their system.
According to NORML's Deputy Director Paul Armentano, the passing of AB 1954 ends this long-standing and discriminatory practice. "With research and studies showing that cannabis often leads to a reduction in pain patients' use of potentially more harmful opioids, it made no sense for doctors to engage in this sort of flagrantly discriminatory and destructive behavior."
NORML has received countless complaints from patients suffering from chronic pain who have been denied treatment by their physicians or clinics simply for testing positive for marijuana. Patients all over the state are very hopeful moving forward and are thankful for the Governor and bipartisan by approving AB 1954.
Assembly Bill 1954 is one of the multiple marijuana-reform bills awaiting action from Gov. Newsom. Other bills before the Governor seek job protections for employees who consume cannabis off the clock, extend parental rights, and expedite the process of sealing past criminal convictions.