New York Decriminalizes Cannabis
by Dan Larkin
New York has become the 16th state to decriminalize cannabis. Governor Cuomo signed the bill on Monday. It will become law 30 days later.
What does “decriminalize” mean?
The law removes the possibility of prison for possession of small amounts of cannabis. Instead, you will be fined $200 for possession of less than 2 ounces and $50 for less than an ounce.
The New York law to decriminalize cannabis will also expunge the cannabis arrest records for most cannabis misdemeanors in the past.
“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,”Governor Andrew Cuomo- (D) NY
New York’s decriminalizing isn’t the prize.
All of this great news is tempered by the fact that New York ultimately failed to fully legalize adult use of cannabis during their legislative session. Negotiations to make them the 12th state to do so broke down over concerns by rural & suburban lawmakers, law enforcement, and parent-teacher groups.
So, while it’s awesome that New York has decriminalized cannabis, it really is a consolation prize. They are missing out on a huge opportunity to capitalize on the growing US legal cannabis market. Specifically, New York City would generate millions, if not billions of dollars in both income and tax revenue if New York could have fully legalized cannabis.
As you know, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize adult use of cannabis and the law there will go into effect on January 1, 2020. Chicago will become one of the biggest cities in the country to benefit from that move.
We will continue to follow New York’s decriminalization of cannabis story.
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More on this story from NYPost.com