New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to additional decriminalize cannabis possession and use in the state.
In 1977, New York decriminalized the possession of fewer than 25 grams of cannabis and decreased the penalty to a $100 fine, even though public possession remained a misdemeanor,
On Monday, Cuomo signed S06579 and A08420, a pair of companion bills written to amend existing criminal, penal, and public well being laws and lower penalties for cannabis possession.
The state legislature authorized the bills in June.
Beneath the new law, the penalty for the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis is decreased to a $50 fine, and $200 for up to two ounces, regardless of criminal history.
“This law is an critical step in righting decades of injustice triggered by the state’s existing drug laws,” mentioned Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie in a statement. “Decriminalizing marijuana and expunging records for these with low level offenses will go a extended way towards assisting our communities, and specially persons of colour, who have been devastated by them.”
Heastie says that by removing the barriers and stigma that are related with criminal records, the path can be cleared for a lot of New Yorkers to obtain jobs and housing and reside productive, productive lives.
The new law also establishes a procedure for people who have been convicted of possessing compact amounts of cannabis to have their records expunged.
“Communities of colour have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana for far also extended, and nowadays we are ending this injustice after and for all,” mentioned Governor Cuomo in a statement. “By supplying people who have suffered the consequences of an unfair marijuana conviction with a path to have their records expunged and by lowering draconian penalties, we are taking a essential step forward in addressing a broken and discriminatory criminal justice procedure.”
With the governor’s signature in spot, the new legislation will take impact in thirty days.