New York State's marijuana decriminalization law goes into effect Wednesday

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Marijuana is now officially decriminalized in New York State.

This means that criminal penalties have been eliminated for public possession and use of marijuana.

Instead, unlawful possession of the drug is a violation, which comes with a fine similar to a parking ticket.

The penalty would be $50 for possessing less than one ounce of pot or $200 for one to two ounces.

The new law will also provide a path for some individuals with prior marijuana convictions to have their records expunged.

Proponents of this law, like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, said marijuana convictions have disproportionally affected communities of color.

"This law is long overdue, and it is a significant step forward in our efforts to end this repressive cycle and ultimately mend our discriminatory criminal justice process once and for all," Cuomo said in a statement.

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