Marijuana is officially decriminalized in New York State.
The law went into action on Wedneday, meaning that all criminal penalties will be eliminated for the use of marijuana and pubic procession. Furthermore, it will help carve a path for some individuals with prior convictions to be expunged.
Despite these new laws, “unlawful possession” of a drug is violation and fines will be reinforced if someone has an unlawful possession of less than one ounce of pot for $50. If the amount is one to two ounces, they will be fined $200, ABC reported.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo shared a statement on the law:
“For too long communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana and have suffered the life-long consequences of an unfair marijuana conviction. Today is the start of a new chapter in the criminal justice system. By providing individuals a path to have their records expunged, including those who have been unjustly impacted based on their race or ethnicity, and reducing the penalty for unlawful possession of marijuana to a fine, we are giving many New Yorkers the opportunity to live better and more productive, successful and healthier lives.”
The governor continued, “This law is long overdue, and it is a significant step forward in our efforts to end this repressive cycle and ultimately mend our discriminatory criminal justice process once and for all.”