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Marijuana legalization in NY: Now that it’s official, what can you really do?

April 1, 2021

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NEW YORK CITY (PIX11)— Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law Wednesday, legalizing adult-use of marijuana.

But creating a system to get marijuana sales up and running statewide will take some time. Here’s what you can do now that the law is passed:

People 21 and older can use, smoke, ingest or otherwise consume marijuana and other related products. It’s still illegal to drive a vehicle under the influence of marijuana.

New York has eliminated penalties for possession of less than three ounces of cannabis for those 21 and older, with a greater quantity allowed to be stored at home in a secured place. The bill also automatically expunged records of people with past convictions for marijuana-related offenses that would no longer be criminalized (court offices have up to two years to make sure this process is completed). That’s a step beyond a 2019 law that expunged many past convictions for marijuana possession and reduced the penalty for possessing small amounts.

The legislation took effect immediately upon the bill’s signing, though sales will not start immediately.

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