Marijuana and Listing for Heart Transplant: A Survey of Transplant Providers

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There is no consensus within the heart transplant community about whether patients who use marijuana should be eligible for transplant listing, but several states have passed legislation prohibiting marijuana-using patients from being denied transplant listing based on their use of the substance.

Methods and Results—

We conducted an independent, voluntary, web-based survey of heart and lung transplant providers to assess current practice patterns and attitudes toward marijuana use in patients with advanced heart failure being considered for transplant. A total of 360 heart transplant providers responded from 26 countries. Nearly two thirds of respondents (n=222, 64.4%) supported listing patients with advanced, end-stage heart failure for transplant who use legal medical marijuana. Significantly, fewer respondents (n=96, 27.5%) supported transplant listing for patients using legal recreational marijuana. The majority of providers currently make patients eligible for transplantation after a period of abstinence from marijuana (n=241, 68.3%). There were no differences between the proportion of respondents supporting transplant listing after stratification by profession or country/region. Most (78.4%) survey respondents from states with laws prohibiting marijuana-using patients from being denied transplant listing reported denying all marijuana-using patients or mandating abstinence before transplant listing.


The majority of heart and lung transplant providers in our study sample supports the listing of patients who use medical marijuana for transplant after a period of abstinence. Communication and collaboration between the medical community and legislative groups about marijuana use in transplant candidates is needed to ensure the best patient outcomes with the use of scarce donor organs.

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