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Rep.Zwiener, Erin

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Public Health Committee Hears Rep. Zwiener’s Bill to Protect Patient Care Access  print page

by: Rep. Zwiener, Erin

Austin, TX — State Representative Erin Zwiener (Driftwood) forged ahead with her legislation aimed at increasing access to proper patient care and pain treatment. Laying out House Bill 4145 in front of the House Committee on Public Health on Wednesday, Rep. Zwiener said the legislation would help Texas patients, particularly chronic pain patients, by disallowing a practitioner to refuse treatment or deny a controlled substance prescription solely because the results of a drug test taken by the patient indicated tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol in the patient’s body.

“Many patients, especially veterans and chronic pain patients, use marijuana to alleviate pain and relieve nausea or anxiety,” Rep. Zwiener said. “Just because a patient does this should not be grounds to discharge that person. Unfortunately, many physicians use urinary drug testing to discharge patients when they discover they have used marijuana recently. We have a chance here to protect access to care for patients, especially those with chronic pain and anxiety.”

The bill’s hearing came the same week that the Texas House passed Rep. Joe Moody’s House Bill 63, which reduces personal-use marijuana penalties. Rep. Zwiener is also a coauthor on House Bill 1365 by Representative Eddie Lucio III (D-Brownsville), which would authorize the use of medical cannabis for patients with certain debilitating medical conditions.

“I think we are making substantial progress on access to medical marijuana and marijuana decriminalization,” Rep. Zwiener said. “I am hopeful that this session, we can provide patients in Texas with another tool to relieve pain and improve their quality of life.”

Contact: Graham Senor

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Kyle, Texas 78640