New York lawmakers failed to agree on marijuana legalization this year, but they did agree on adopting a new decriminalization law.
Fines havebeen reduced for those possessing small amounts of marijuana, New York Upstate reported. The new law hasn’t been signed by Governor Cuomo yet. Once it is signed, it will take effect 30 days later.
The new penalty for possessing an ounce or less is a fine of $50. Possessing between one ounce and 57 grams is $100. Someone who is cited more than once will pay the same fine over and over, as the fine does not increase.
The decriminalization bill also includes having previous convictions that are non-violent under the new law will vacated and dismissed (expunged).
David Condliffe of Center for Community Alternatives said, “Certainly, there’s no question that automatic expungement is the most important part of this. We have to acknowledge the racial disparity in the way that this has been enforced for decades.”
Governor Cuomo is expected to sign the bill soon.