CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he’s working with Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Ron Wyden of Oregon on legislation for what he called “comprehensive marijuana reform.”
Here in Texas it is not legal to possess marijuana or products that contain THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, but it is legal to purchase hemp. So then why is hemp legal and not marijuana?
“Because it comes out of the hemp plant. THC psychoactively makes you high, and CBD actually makes the body feel good,” business owner Jennifer Anderson said.
Anderson is the owner of Your Happy Place, which sells CBD. Anderson said she favors nationwide legalization because it would allow her to expand her business.
Two years ago, Booker said that the U.S. shouldn’t just legalize marijuana but expunge the records of those who have served time due to marijuana-related charges.
So if it’s so similar to marijuana then what are the legalities when it comes to decriminalizing marijuana nationwide?
Marijuana activist and Corpus Christi lawyer Kyle Hoelscher said a template to decriminalize marijuana already exists: the M.O.R.E. Act.
“It removes marijuana from the list of controlled substances, it allows for expansion and it creates a tax on marijuana,” Hoelscher said.
The bill passed the House in 2020 but was never voted on in the then-Republican-controlled Senate.
Hoelschler said he favors marijuana legalization because he’s in favor of marijuana reformation. Schumer said that ending the federal marijuana prohibition is necessary to correct a failed war on drugs.
Schumer, Booker, and Wydon did not detail how long it would take for marijuana to be legalized nationwide, but said they would start by gathering input from stakeholder groups and release a discussion draft in the early part of this year.