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New York erasing low-level marijuana convictions, lowering possession penalty

Jul 05, 2019 12:46 am
Steve Hughes reports in the Albany Times Union that 849 criminal convictions in Albany County, and 218 in Rensselaer County after a new law passed in the state legislature erasing some convictions for unlawful possession of marijuana and fifth-degree possession of marijuana. How that will actually happen is still a point of debate. “Currently, we do not have a method for expunging of criminal records," said Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for state Office of Court Administration. “We are talking about hundreds of thousands if not more than a million criminal records to be removed from our database.” Now state law mandates arrestees in possession of an ounce or less of marijuana now get a fine up to $50, and possession of between one and two ounces could result in a fine of up to $200. The law takes effect 30 days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs the bill, which he is expected to soon. Read more about this story in the Albany Times Union.
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