NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Signs Bill Decriminalizing Pot: ‘Critical Step Forward’

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act at Fordham Law School in the borough of Manhattan on July 18, 2019 in New York City. Framed by Governor Cuomo as a statewide Green New Deal, the act commits New York state to expand offshore wind …
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a bill Monday to further decriminalize marijuana use and expunge the records of individuals convicted on cannabis-related charges.

“Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana for far too long, and today we are ending this injustice once and for all,” the governor said in a statement.

“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,” he concluded.

Reports state that the new law is set to go into effect in 30 days.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said the bill would help New Yorkers with previous convictions find jobs and ultimately move on with their lives.

“By removing the barriers and stigma that come with these records, we clear the path for many New Yorkers to find a job, housing and go on to live successful and productive lives,” Heastie commented.

The law will eliminate criminal penalties for someone found possessing up to two ounces of marijuana.

“Instead, public possession, or use of that much pot, would result in a violation punishable by fines of $50 for an ounce or less or $200 for between one ounce and two ounces,” according to a report by ABC News 10.

In April, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) called for the legalization of marijuana at the federal level.

“It’s time we legalize marijuana at the federal level and restore justice to our communities,” she wrote on Twitter. “Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs. We must reverse this trend.”

In June, Breitbart News reported that President Trump said he would “probably” support efforts by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) to end the federal ban on marijuana in states that have already legalized it.

“I support Sen. Gardner,” he told reporters. “I know exactly what he’s doing. We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”

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