Marijuana is now officially decriminalized in New York State, effective Wednesday, August 28, 2019.
What We Know:
- The state has long tried to pass laws to decriminalize marijuana. Effective today, criminal penalties have been eliminated for public possession and use of marijuana.
- Instead of prosecution, unlawful possession of the drug is a violation which comes with a fine similar to a parking ticket. The penalty would be $50 for possessing less than one ounce of pot or $200 for one to two ounces.
- The new law also provides a path for individuals with prior marijuana conviction have their records expunged. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo said marijuana convictions have disproportionally affected communities of color.
- Similarly, New York City banned marijuana testing of job applicants as a condition of employment and barred the Department of Probation from testing individuals on probation.
- 11 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for recreational use. The states include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
- 23 states have legalized the use of medical marijuana, those states include: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah and West Virginia.
This is a monumental move. This story will be updated here.