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Final week, lawmakers authorized a measure which reduces the penalties for small quantities of marijuana and expunges the information of these convicted of low-level offenses.

Right here’s a breakdown of the modifications:

• Possession of lower than two ounces of marijuana will likely be thought of a violation, not a criminal offense. The violation nonetheless means a person is arrested, however it gained’t end in a jail time period or legal file.

• The penalty for possession of lower than one ounce of marijuana will likely be lowered from $100 to $50 and gained’t improve due to a person’s legal historical past. The penalty for possession of between one and two ounces will likely be $200, no matter legal historical past.

• Most previous convictions for marijuana possession of 25 grams (about an oz) or much less will mechanically be expunged.

Marijuana will likely be added to the definition of smoking within the public well being legislation, so smoking marijuana will likely be prohibited anyplace smoking tobacco is prohibited.

Rashawn Pennick is a father of 5 who has been struggling to discover a job since his arrest in 2017 for possessing lower than a gram of marijuana.

“It makes you wish to fib on the applying and say you were not as a result of you are not going to get the job,” he stated.

The 32-year-old from Buffalo is one in all an estimated 100,000 New Yorkers eligible for expungement. In keeping with Meeting Majority Chief Crystal Peoples-Stokes, the Workplace of Courtroom Administration and the Division of Felony Justice Providers will likely be required to comb by legal information and notify anybody who qualifies.

She stated the method should not value these impacted a dime. “They will have to speak with you to work by the method however that does not imply it’s important to rent an lawyer to do it.”

Peoples-Stokes has lengthy advocated for legalizing the grownup use of leisure marijuana. “I believe it is a positive factor it’s going to occur. I am not going to say when as a result of it already ought to’ve occurred. however, I believe it is a positive factor.”

Pennick want to see it legalized. However, he is additionally comfortable to see that a part of his previous will now not influence his future.

“I’ve 5 children. I wish to have an excellent job to assist my kids,” he stated.

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