SACRAMENTO (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation that will prevent doctors and hospitals from denying organ transplants to medical marijuana users just because of their pot use.

The Democratic governor announced Monday that he signed AB258 by Democratic Assemblyman Marc Levine of San Rafael.

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Supporters say some patients who use medical marijuana have been denied life-saving organ transplants because they are treated by doctors as drug abusers. Marijuana is often prescribed to cancer and other patients to help with pain and side effects of treatment.

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Levine’s legislation ensures that medical marijuana users have the same right to access organ transplants as other patients by prohibiting a hospital or doctor from disqualifying a person solely because of medical marijuana use.

The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2016.

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