New York State Further Decriminalizes Marijuana Use

The Albany Times-Union reports:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Monday that further decriminalizes marijuana use in New York. The bill was introduced by Democrats in the waning hours of the recent legislative session after it became clear that full legalization of recreational use would not happen this year.

It was seen as a compromise between parties who were opposed to legalizing commercial sales of the drug and those who argued existing laws disproportionately impact people of color.

The new law will reduce the penalty for unlawful possession of marijuana to a violation punishable by fine, and remove criminal penalties for possession of any amount of marijuana under two ounces. It will also create a process for individuals who have been convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana to have their records retroactively expunged.