New York Assembly Votes to Seal Past Convictions For Pot Possession

New York

If you were arrested for simple possession of marijuana in public view while in New York, that part of your criminal record could be sealed, according to a June 16, 2016, press release from the Drug Policy Alliance.

The New York State Assembly voted June 15, 2016, to seal those records with a 99-42 vote including support from both major political parties. Now, as the end of the legislative session approaches, supporters are hoping the state Senate will pass a complementary bill.

Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, “I introduced the marijuana sealing bill because drug laws have created a permanent underclass of people unable to find jobs after a conviction.”

She also decried drug-war policies as “inherently racist.”

“Communities of color have been devastated by bad drug policies and hyper-criminalization for the last 40 years…. Sealing low-level marijuana possession convictions is the first step to reintegrating thousands of New Yorkers who are inhibited daily from accessing employment, housing and an education all due to a conviction on their record for simple possession of marijuana,” Peoples-Stokes said.

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