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What does the DEA's rescheduling of marijuana mean for Texas?

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Image by 7raysmarketing from Pixabay
Image by 7raysmarketing from Pixabay

Longtime South Texas politician Rep. Henry Cuellar was indicted on Friday. The Laredo Democrat and his wife, Imelda are charged with bribery and money laundering related to their ties with a bank in Mexico and an oil and gas company controlled by the government of Azerbaijan.

The congressman and his wife were each released on a $100,000 bond after being taken into custody and a first appearance in federal court in Houston, a DOJ spokesperson said Friday afternoon.

According to the indictment, from 2014 to 2021, the Cuellars allegedly accepted roughly $600,000 in bribes from the two foreign entities in exchange for the congressman using his office to perform official acts to the benefit of the Azerbaijani government and the Mexico bank.

“The bribe payments were allegedly laundered, pursuant to sham consulting contracts, through a series of front companies and middlemen into shell companies owned by Imelda Cuellar, who performed little to no legitimate work under the contracts,” the DOJ said in a statement.

Cuellar released a statement proclaiming his innocence and that he is continuing to seek reelection to the 28th Congressional District which stretches from Laredo to downtown San Antonio.

Guest: Jon Taylor – UTSA political science professor and Department Chair, Department of Political Science and Geography.

The Drowning South

The rapid burst of sea level rise has struck a region spanning from Brownsville to Cape Hatteras, N.C., where coastal counties are home to 28 million people. Outdated infrastructure built to manage water, some of it over a century old, cannot keep up.

As a result, the seas are swallowing coastal land, damaging property, submerging septic tanks and making key roads increasingly impassable.

Human-caused climate change is driving an acceleration of sea level rise globally, largely because of the faster melting of the globe’s giant sheets of ice. Scientists do not know for certain why this region is experiencing a surge in sea levels beyond the global average, but one theory is that naturally occurring ocean currents are moving ever-warmer ocean water deep into the gulf. This warm water expands and causes seas to rise. This comes on top of sinking land, which has long exacerbated sea level rise in the region.

Guest: Brady Dennis is a Washington Post climate reporter and is part of the team that reported The Drowning South.

Rescheduling Pot

Marijuana could soon be less illegal in the eyes of the federal government. The Drug Enforcement Administration is moving toward reclassifying marijuana as a less dangerous drug.

The proposal would move marijuana from the “Schedule I” group to the less tightly regulated “Schedule III,” which also includes heroin, a narcotic that is much more additive and deadly.

The Justice Department proposal would recognize the medical uses of cannabis but wouldn’t legalize it for recreational use.

But the rescheduling of marijuana would have widespread impacts and implications. Even for Texas which still prohibits and prosecutes the recreational use of marijuana.

David Culver is with the U.S. Cannabis Council

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org.

*This interview will be recorded on Monday, May 6, 2024.

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi