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Proposal would legalize marijuana for Texans over 21

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Several members of the Texas House of Representatives hope a proposed bill legalizing marijuana will move forward in January.

“When someone’s really hurting and in pain to see some relief in their eyes and the eye of their loved ones,” said Owner of House of Hemp, Craig Bethards.

Bethards says when he is able to help his customers suffering from epilepsy, seizures, and forms of PTSD with his CBD products; it brings him great joy. And with these marijuana reform bills on the table, he could serve and assist more clients.

“Hopefully it helps us help more people. It gives us the ability to help more people in the community to get the word out there about the benefits of what the hemp products and the CBD products do,” said Bethards.

Bethards says finding hemp farms here in South Texas is extremely rare because of the soil. However, House Bill 447 could make a huge impact on everyday Texans if passed.

“This is a new bill, a new concept for the house I certainly know that it’s a tough conversation it will be going further than any we’ve ever gone in Texas before, but, if we don’t have the conversation then we never get to the conclusions,” said House Member of State of TX District 78 (D)Rep. Joe Moody.

Rep. Joe Moody who’s based in El Paso Texas says this will be the first time a bill like 447 has been files to the House of Representatives. The proposed plan would make recreational marijuana legal for those who are 21-years-old and above. Driving under the influence of marijuana would still be against the law. Moody believes placing a tax would also be a huge help too.

“Here’s the great part for Texas, we have waited long enough that we have seen this become more than just an experiment many states have endeavored to do this and so they can show us here’s some good things you can do here’s some mistakes you can avoid,” said Rep. Joe Moody.

In a recent social media post, our KRIS 6 News team was seeking public opinion about the proposed HB-447. A total of 1,231 votes brought results in 85% of folks were for the passing of HB-447. On the other hand,13.4% said they were against HB-447.

“While I am glad there’s a lot of support, in the Texas House we have to see something from the Governor’s office or it’s a waste of our time,” said the former president of NORML CC Kyle Hoelscher.

Hoelscher says if legalization was passed in Texas, this could create a huge net worth in revenue.

“The biggest thing I hope the legislator pays attention to, on legalization, is that we could be missing out on somewhere between 400-million and 1.2 billion dollars of tax revenue,” said Hoelscher.

Hoelscher also reveals how legalization would create more jobs where locals can grow, shop, and employ.

“The great thing about cannabis legalization is that it is primarily a local activity,” said Hoelscher.

Yet, Hoelscher says only time will tell. The discussion is set to take place in Austin on January 12th.

“While it’s nice to see that many bills filed for marijuana is that we really don’t know till they meet in January,” said Hoelscher.

(D)Rep. Joe Moody who’s based in El Paso Texas says this will be the first time a bill like 447 has been filed to the House of Representatives.

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Texas

Texas’ medical marijuana laws are strict. This is what advocates want to see changed

After one failed treatment after another, Sharlene Hernandez was at a dead end.

Her 10-year-old autistic son wasn’t speaking, barley eating and would play with and spread his feces around the house. Nothing was helping her child.

One day, a friend in a similar situation recommended THC via a doctor’s prescription. Willing to try anything, Hernandez went for it.

District attorney in Texas to dismiss misdemeanor marijuana charges

The Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office says misdemeanor marijuana cases don’t need to clog up the courts and is sharing how people charged with possession of less than two ounces can get that charge dismissed.

They need to have three clean drug tests in three months – and then the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office will dismiss the charge.

“One of the goals of the criminal justice system is rehabilitation; sobriety is the beginning of that rehabilitation,” Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney Sharen Wilson said. “When you bring proof of three months of sobriety– 90 days – the charge will be dismissed.”

The most frequently committed offense in Tarrant County is possession of marijuana of less than two ounces.

In economic crisis, Texas Democrats push to legalize marijuana

With a state budget devastated by the coronavirus, some Democratic lawmakers are hoping the economic crisis could become an opportunity to coax Texas into joining a growing number of states opting to legalize — and tax — recreational marijuana use.

The chances are slim.

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio and state Rep. Joe Moody of El Paso filed bills this week in advance of the 2021 legislative session that would legalize, regulate and tax personal cannabis use. State Rep. Terry Canales of Edinburg has proposed putting the question of legalization to Texas voters.

Texas Lawmaker Makes Push For Statewide Cannabis Legalization

On the heels of a historic triumph for the legalization movement at the ballot box earlier this month, one Texas lawmaker is keen to get in on the action.

Roland Gutierrez, a Democratic state House representative who was just elected to the Texas state senate, said this week that he intends to introduce legislation that would legalize both recreational and medical marijuana in the Lone Star State.

Texas Lawmaker Pre-Files Bill To Legalize Cannabis

State Senator-elect Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio has pre-filed a bill that would legalize cannabis.

The Democrat who ousted Republican Pete Flores in the State Senate District 19 race last week made the legalization of marijuana for medical and adult recreation use one of his campaign platforms. Gutierrez says it would result in an estimated $3.2 billion in state revenue and create 30,000 jobs.

Texas’ first legal hemp farm offers an interactive look at the plant

Down a rural farm road on the outskirts of Bergheim, 40 minutes north of San Antonio, lies the green pasture nurturing Texas’ first legal hemp farm. At Texas First Hemp, visitors can take a look inside the farming operation, demystifying some of the stigma and buying samples on their way out.

Texas Sees Its First Hemp Harvest in 80 Years

It’s an overcast October morning in the farmland south of Dripping Springs. The crystalline voice of reggae pioneer Desmond Dekker emits over a Bluetooth speaker as a dozen volunteers work through rows of 5-foot-high plants – cutting the giant, pungent, parakeet-colored colas emerging victoriously through the fan leaves and placing them in Rubbermaid bins.

If you believed your nose and eyes, you might think you’re on a marijuana farm, but this is harvest time in Texas. It is the first season of legal hemp in over 80 years.

Report Finds Legal Cannabis Could Bring Texas $500M In Annual Tax Revenue

Legalizing cannabis in Texas could bring the state more than half a billion dollars in new tax revenue each year, according to a report released last week by a leading cannabis policy and law firm. The economic analysis from Vicente Sederberg LLP also found that legal pot would result in more than $300 million in savings from reduced law enforcement costs annually and could create up to 40,000 jobs.

Texas Smokable Hemp Ban Put on Hold Until February

A smokable hemp ban in Texas has been placed on temporary hold until a lawsuit over its legality goes to trial in February.

On Sep. 18, Texas district court Judge Lora J. Livingston ruled that she would temporarily prevent the state from enforcing its ban on smokable hemp after several companies filed a lawsuit, Crown Distributing LLC, et al. v. Texas Department of State Health Services, et al., in August to challenge the policy. (Those companies are Crown Distributing LLC, America Juice Co. LLC, Custom Botanical Dispensary LLC and 1937 Apothecary LLC.)

Houston’s Forensic Science Center Develops Test To Differentiate Marijuana From Hemp

As reported by the Houston Chronicle, the city’s Forensic Science Center has devised a chemical testing procedure capable of differentiating between hemp and psychoactive cannabis. In June 2019, the law that defines hemp and ‘weed’ became effective: it distinguishes them from each basing on whether they are above 0,3% THC content. The maneuver, intended to serve as an added business safety for hemp farmers, created an issue at the prosecution level: THC content has to be proven, since this bill passed. And, a that time, Texas laboratories were not equipped to provide the analytical evidence that entities like state-licensers or prosecutors need to enact regulations.

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