BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 2019 looks to be when recreational marijuana use will be legalized in New York State. Still, there are many unanswered questions surrounding the policy that will be put in place, particularly concerning those who have been charged with low level marijuana possession in the past.
"We would like to see the records of those who have been incarcerated for non violent drug crimes be sealed... their records should be sealed and they shouldn’t have to hire a lawyer in order to do that," Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes says.
According to the Huffington Post, states like California allow for residents to petition the courts to wipe away (record seal) any past convictions.
“Crafting our legislation has to be done in the light of what’s already been the law in the Massachusetts and what’s going to be the law in New Jersey. We’re working with the people in New Jersey so that there is somewhat a consistency among these states that are proximate," Gov. Andrew Cuomo says.
The Partnership For The Public Good says from 2012 to 2016, more than 2,000 people were arrested in Buffalo for low-level marijuana crimes. 38.6 percent of Buffalo's population is African American and during the same time span 80% of the arrests made were African American.
Peoples-Stokes has set a goal to have recreational marijuana be implemented within the state by the end of 2020.