New York decriminalizes marijuana possession

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation decriminalizing marijuana use throughout the state. It takes effect on August 29.

Rather than arrest, the law reduces the penalty for marijuana possession to a $50 fine for less than an ounce or maximum $200 for up to two ounces.

People who have been previously convicted for small amounts of marijuana now have a process in which to expunge their records.

“Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana for far too long, and today we are ending this injustice once and for all,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“By providing individuals who have suffered the consequences of an unfair marijuana conviction with a path to have their records expunged and by reducing draconian penalties, we are taking a critical step forward in addressing a broken and discriminatory criminal justice process.” 

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