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New York’s Law To Decriminalize Marijuana Takes Effect Today

New York’s Law To Decriminalize Marijuana Takes Effect Today

Photo credit: Getty / Ethan Miller

Last month New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed the measure to further decriminalize marijuana use in New York. The law takes effect today.

Under the law, possession of small measures of marijuana will be considered a violation punishable by fine. The penalty for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana is $50 and will be a maximum of $200 for 1 to 2 ounces. Also, Residents in The Big Apple who have low-level marijuana convictions will see their records wiped clean.

“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,” Gov. 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.”

“Decriminalizing marijuana is an essential part of reforming our state’s broken justice system. For too long, communities of color have been disproportionately targeted and negatively impacted. The Senate Democratic Majority will continue our efforts for full legalization and regulation of marijuana, and today’s decriminalization is a good first step,” said State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

The law is definitely a step in the right direction for the state of New York.