New York State’s Marijuana Decriminalization Law Goes into Effect

Marijuana is now officially decriminalized in New York State, effective Wednesday, August 28, 2019.

What We Know:

  • The state has long tried to pass laws to decriminalize marijuana.  Effective today, criminal penalties have been eliminated for public possession and use of marijuana.
  • Instead of prosecution, unlawful possession of the drug is a violation which comes with a fine similar to a parking ticket.  The penalty would be $50 for possessing less than one ounce of pot or $200 for one to two ounces.
  • The new law also provides a path for individuals with prior marijuana conviction have their records expunged.  NY Governor Andrew Cuomo said marijuana convictions have disproportionally affected communities of color.
  • Similarly, New York City banned marijuana testing of job applicants as a condition of employment and barred the Department of Probation from testing individuals on probation.
  • 11 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for recreational use.  The states include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
  • 23 states have legalized the use of medical marijuana, those states include: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah and West Virginia.


This is a monumental move.  This story will be updated here.