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.