In Malta, regular cannabis users cannot donate blood, however social users can.
Can cannabis users now donate blood? That’s what we wondered as Malta has proceeded towards legalising personal cannabis use.
In response to inquiries from the press, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry said that although a general statement that applies to all blood donors cannot be made, social cannabis smokers are permitted to donate blood.
However, the same could not apply to individuals who use cannabis frequently. In fact, they claimed that ‘If you are a regular cannabis user you might not be allowed to give blood- depends on the amount of use which is determined on a case-by-case basis, if you are a social smoker you can still give blood.’
Before donating blood, a risk assessment that takes the form of an interview with a questionnaire must be completed.
In order to ensure that the blood donated doesn’t go to waste, a number of really personal questions are asked in this form. A representative from the Health Ministry also said that ‘the risk is assessed during the donor interview and deferral is applied according to the risk identified.’
The donor is asked whether they smoke and, if so, what they smoke throughout this interview. Every aspect of this is decided on an individual basis. And it appears that while regular cannabis users may still not be able to donate blood, Malta’s social smokers can!
According to the American Red Cross, ‘While the Red Cross does not encourage the use of controlled substances, marijuana, cigarettes or alcohol use does not necessarily disqualify a person from giving blood. Potential donors cannot give while under the influence of licit or illicit drugs or alcohol. Legal or illegal use of marijuana is not otherwise a cause of deferral.’
This means that you can still donate blood overseas if you smoke marijuana. The clinic might deny your visit, though, if you arrive for it looking obviously high.
In other countries around the world, it is simply asked not to consume within 48 hours of donating to reduce the amount of THC in the blood. Cannabis is classified as a mild drug in Belgium. It implies that, unless the donor is intoxicated at the time of the donation, it is possible to give blood when you are a consumer.
Cannabis use is permitted in Canada, including for leisure. It is absolutely acceptable for marijuana smokers to donate blood. Donors are merely urged to hold off for 12 hours after the effects have ended.
What do you think? Do you agree with the Ministry of Health’s decision to prohibit regular cannabis users from donating blood? We would love to know in the comments below!
For more cannabis information and news, check our 420.mt blog weekly.