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NY lawmakers eye decriminalization after legal pot stalls

Legislation passed by Senate, awaiting Assembly vote
Posted at 6:29 PM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-20 18:29:40-04

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Lawmakers in New York state are considering a proposal to eliminate criminal penalties for public possession and use of marijuana after efforts to legalize pot stalled.

The legislation would replace low-level criminal charges with civil tickets similar to a parking ticket. It would also allow people to get low-level pot convictions expunged from their records.

The bill passed the state Senate Thursday and was expected to pass the Assembly later in the evening. Lawmakers plan to adjourn for the year late Thursday or Friday.

Legislation that would have legalized recreational marijuana for those 21 and older and regulated and taxed commercial sales fizzled Wednesday.

Lawmakers couldn't agree on key details, such as how tax revenue would be used and how local communities would decide whether they want to host dispensaries.