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Park City man denied lung transplant following marijuana use dies. (Photo: Hancey family, Youcaring)

A teen died after being denied a lung transplant because he smoked marijuana


A Utah man died after being denied a lung transplant due to his past marijuana use.

Riley Hancey, 19, of Park City, Utah, had tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main intoxicant in marijuana, our partner at KUTV reports

He was diagnosed with the flu around Thanksgiving and was later diagnosed with pneumonia. He was put on life support in the University of Utah Medical Center, where he was denied a spot on the transplant list after he tested positive for THC.

The hospital said in a statement it refuses transplants "in patients with active alcohol, tobacco or illicit drug use or dependencies until these issues are addressed, as these substances are contraindicated for a transplant."

Hancey's father Mark said Riley had been in trouble for past drug use, but had gotten clean before his diagnosis. He relapsed and smoked marijuana around Thanksgiving. The family searched for a hospital willing to perform the transplant, and the University of Pennsylvania agreed. But it was too late, and Hancey died Saturday.

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The family had set up a YouCaring crowdfunding page to get Hancey a transplant. It raised more than $24,000 as of Monday morning and still appears to be accepting donations.

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