New York Decriminalizes Up to 2 Ounces of Marijuana
The state of New York in now one step closer to making recreational marijuana legal. On Monday, July 29, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that decriminalized recreational marijuana use — making possession of small amounts of the drug punished with fines rather than prison time.
It remains illegal in New York to grow, buy or sell any quantity of recreational marijuana.
Cuomo said the measure would also allow a mechanism for clearing the records of people who had been criminally convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana.
“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,” said Cuomo.
More than 360,000 people were arrested for possession of marijuana in New York from 2008 to 2017, according to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.