Wednesday marks the end of the six-month legislative session in Albany, New York on the marijuana and taxation act. A part of this bill focuses on marijuana convictions. If the bill is passed 300,000 people who have been convicted of low level marijuana crimes, could have their records erased, or even sealed.
This bill could help these people in many ways as the criminal charges prevented people from applying to jobs, public housing, and from receiving grants to go to school, said Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes. “We don’t even understand the full tip of the iceberg of the impact that this mass incarceration of locking up people for low-level drug crimes has created in our society,” she said.
Melissa Moore, NY State Drug Policy Alliance Deputy Director, says the legalization of recreational marijuana would be a world of difference for those who have faced criminal charges for smoking or possessing marijuana. “There have still been 800,000 arrests for low-level marijuana possession in the last 20 years alone,” said Moore.
The bill has been in the legislature since 2013, was revised in 2017, and again after budget discussions in the last legislative session. The state lawmakers have until Wednesday, June 19th if they want legalized marijuana this year.
Frank T. Luciano has been representing people accused of marijuana related issues for over 40 years. He is a lifetime member of the legal committee for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and has been a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorney’s for many years. He is familiar with marijuana, cocaine, and heroin related cases in Bergen (Hackensack), Passaic (Paterson) and Hudson (Jersey City) Counties. To get started with an initial consultation, contact Mr. Luciano today at 973-471-0004.