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US Rep. Kai Kahele votes to decriminalize cannabis

Congressman Kahele toured the Big Island Grown - Hawaii Cannabis Dispensary.
Congressman Kahele toured the Big Island Grown - Hawaii Cannabis Dispensary.(U.S. CONGRESSMAN KAI KAHELE)
Published: Apr. 2, 2022 at 1:48 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 2, 2022 at 1:50 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele voted in favor of an act that is aimed at decriminalizing cannabis at the federal level.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act will expunge the records of those harmed by cannabis criminalization and create opportunities for all to participate in the legal cannabis industry.

“I joined my colleagues in the House and voted in favor of delivering justice for those harmed by decades of unjust federal drug laws,” said Kahele. “The MORE Act means implementing smarter, fairer cannabis policies for Hawaii.”

He said this legislation advances racial, economic and social justice and opens the door for minority-owned cannabis businesses.

In a news release, Kahele said that the enforcement of federal cannabis criminalization continues to disproportionately harm people of color and hold many back from the benefits of the legal cannabis marketplace.

Statistics show people of color are four times more likely to be arrested on cannabis charges — and are often targeted for longer prison sentences.

The act also establishes the Opportunity Trust Fund to provide loans for small disadvantaged cannabis businesses, promote equitable cannabis licensing programs and fund re-entry services for those harmed by cannabis criminalization.

It also prohibits the denial of any federal benefit based on the legal use or possession of cannabis, including housing.

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