New York Decriminalizes Cannabis

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new law today that decriminalizes the use of cannabis in New York State.

The new legislation will take effect in 30 days.

According to the new law, unlawful possession of up to two ounces of marijuana will be a violation—in the form of a fine—rather than a criminal misdemeanor offense.

In the previous law, possession of at least 25 grams of cannabis is punishable by a maximum $100 fine. Possession of more than 25 grams carries a jail sentence of up to three months and a maximum $500 fine upon conviction.

In addition, the legislation also enables thousands of individuals who have been charged and convicted of low-level marijuana crimes to seek expungement. Lawmakers and advocates who support the new law claim previous marijuana laws in the state disproportionately affect African American and Latinx communities.

Having a conviction of a drug crime hanging over a person’s head for the rest of their life can make it difficult to gain employment, find a place to live, apply for college, and take advantage of other opportunities life has to offer.

At O’Brien & Wood PLLC, not only are we committed to helping our clients avoid conviction after being charged with a drug crime, but we can also help them expunge previous convictions from their criminal records to put the past behind them for good.

For more information about drug crimes and expungements in Albany, contact us today at (518) 240-9992 and schedule a free consultation.

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