New York is ready to decriminalize the possession of pot-after-push to fully legalize recreational sales fizzles in legislature
- Decriminalization bill passed past Senate and New York Assembly this week
- Penalties would be reduced to a fine of $ 50 for amounts under one ounce
- Owning one to two ounces of weed would be punished with a $ 200 fine
- Governor Cuomo has said that he supports decriminalization and will sign the bill
- Comes after the proposal to fully legalize recreational weeds, received no support
New York state legislators voted to eliminate criminal sanctions for public property and use of marijuana after attempts to legalize jar pot.
The measure would reduce the number of criminal charges for unlawful possession of marijuana to an offense, accompanied by a fine comparable to a parking ticket. The fine would be $ 50 for owning less than one gram of pot or $ 200 for one to two ounces.
In an effort to tackle decades of racial differences in drug arrests, the bill would also allow the removal of past convictions for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
The state Senate took the bill Thursday evening a few hours before the room adjourned for the year. Passage followed Friday morning at the state meeting before it too adjourned.
New York Sen. Jamaal T. Bailey, D-Bronx, left, fist bumps Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy, D-Buffalo, after Bailey & # 39; s legislation extending decriminalization legislation for marijuana passed during a legislative session the Senate Chamber at the Capitol on Thursday
Sen. Jamaal Bailey, D-the Bronx, and the bill's sponsor, said pot crime convictions could affect a person for life, & limit their access to housing, gain access to education, and cause them to get a poorer job. & # 39;
The bill emerged as a relapse option when legislation that would have carried out legal, regulated and taxed marijuana sales broke down on Wednesday morning after legislators could not reach consensus on key details such as how tax revenues would be used and how local communities would decide whether they want to host dispensaria .
Lawmakers who had hoped to vote on legalization said that the decriminalization law is a harbinger of full legalization next year.
& # 39; We will get there & # 39 ;, said Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island. & # 39; This is a step on the path. We will come there. & # 39;
The state of New York began lifting sanctions for marijuana in the 1970s, but the current law allowed the police to arrest people for having a pot in public, a ripple that legalization lawyers often used to target young racial minorities to tackle.
Buds of marijuana are seen in a file photo. The fine would be $ 50 for owning less than one gram of pot or $ 200 for one to two grams under the proposed New York law
New York Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, D-Brooklyn, calls for the extension of decriminalization legislation for marijuana during a legislature on Thursday
Estimates are that nearly 600,000 New Yorkers can benefit from the expungement of earlier marijuana beliefs.
Opposition to the change was led by Republican lawmakers who said they were concerned that decriminalization of marijuana would increase traffic accidents and drug use by minors.
Government Andrew Cuomo, a democrat, presented his own plan for legalization earlier this year.
He said he would sign the Decriminalization Act, noting that he had requested a similar step five years ago.
& # 39; It's not a legalization & # 39 ;, he said on public radio on Wednesday night. & # 39; But it's decriminalization and it's an important, important achievement. & # 39;
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