WXXI AM News

Marijuana decriminalization

Governor Andrew Cuomo started the year 2019 with a strong message to legalize recreational marijuana. While the state did not pass legalization measures, certain amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized. WXXI’s Noelle Evans and Juan Vazquez look back at changes to state laws around marijuana possession this past year, and what those changes means going forward.

  

A law that decriminalizes possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana took effect Wednesday. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it's "long overdue." But some advocates say the law does not go far enough.

Starting Wednesday, possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana is punishable by a $50 fine. Anyone caught with 2 ounces of cannabis would be fined up to $200. The measure also creates a mechanism to expunge the records for some past marijuana convictions.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed a bill into law that further decriminalizes marijuana possession in New York state. The law ends criminal prosecution for possession of up to 2 ounces of cannabis.

The action comes on a day when the governor also signed new gun control measures into law. 

Under the law, possession of up to 1 ounce of the drug would be punishable by a $50 fine. Having up to 2 ounces of cannabis would bring a $200 fine. The measure also creates a mechanism to expunge the records for some past marijuana convictions.