Cuomo signs bill further decriminalizing marijuana use in NY

Kimberly Dole
July 29, 2019 - 11:14 am
Andrew Cuomo

SHAWN DOWD/ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) --  Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that further decriminalizes marijuana use in New York.

Lawmakers believe the new law will make marijuana enforcement fairer and more equitable by reducing the penalty for unlawful possession of marijuana to a violation punishable by a fine and removing criminal penalties for possession of any amount of marijuana under two ounces.

The legislation will also create a process for individuals with certain marijuana convictions to have their records expunged both retroactively and for future convictions. 

"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," Governor Cuomo said. "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." 

Cuomo first proposed the further decriminalization of marijuana in 2013, and again in the FY 2020 Budget.

The bill will take effect 30 days after becoming law.

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