On Monday, the Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a bill that decriminalizes marijuana use. The signed bill will further expunge the criminal records of people facing charges related to cannabis use.
Cuomo further noted that people of color are the biggest target when it comes to marijuana laws, which makes them discriminative. He stated that it is time for this to end.
The New York Governor showed disregard to the draconian marijuana law that saw people unfairly convicted. However, this will change as the new law will be streamlined as they attempt to get rid of any records and do away with the penalties. He added that major steps are in place to address this discriminatory and broken criminal justice system.
New York state legislature approved this new bill earlier this year, and it will ensure that any marijuana offenses are categorized as a misdemeanor, which will only be subjected to a fine.
With the new law, there will be no criminal penalties for anyone found with two ounces of cannabis or below. The bill will also set a procedure that will help people convicted with marijuana cases have their criminal records expunged both for future indictments and retroactively. This is a great development on criminal justice amendments.
The bill will be effective after 30 days of it being signed into law. In 2013, Cuomo had proposed decriminalizing marijuana.
The Monday bill that was signed last Monday follows a series of legislation decriminalizing or legalizing wave on cannabis at the state level.
This month Hawaii became the 26th state to decriminalize or legalize medical marijuana use. Jerrold Nadler, the Committee Chairman of House Judiciary and Sen. Kamala Harris introduced a bill at the beginning of this month that will ensure that previous convictions are expunged and marijuana decriminalized nationally.
However, there has been a major huddle in New York cannabis legalization plans since when Cuomo announced earlier this year that the plan was not to be included in this year’s state budget citing lack of readiness by the state lawmakers.