Governor Cuomo signed legislation Monday that will further decriminalize marijuana use in New York State.
According to details from the Governor’s office, this measure is designed to ensure marijuana enforcement is fairer and 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.
In addition, this legislation will also create a process for individuals with certain marijuana convictions to have their records expunged both retroactively and for future convictions.
The Governor says New York’s current marijuana laws hold negative bias against ethnic communities, such as African American and Latino. "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," he said.
The bill will take effect 30 days after becoming law.