More than 202,000 convictions in the state from the late 1970s through mid-June of this year will be sealed and 24,409 people will no longer have a criminal record, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services spokeswoman Janine Kava told CNN.
Under the new law, convictions are automatically sealed in the system, but in order for the individuals to have the actual records destroyed, they must petition the court where the conviction occurred.
“As of today we, along with New York State’s Division of Criminal Justice Services, have suppressed any indication of past cases in a criminal records history search,” Lucian Chalfen, a spokesperson for the New York State Unified Court System, told CNN. “On previously disposed Marijuana cases our system currently seals them post-conviction and will continue to function the way it is currently working.”
Democratic presidential candidate and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has pushed for decriminalization of marijuana and called for legalization of recreational use. In 2018, de Blasio called for the New York Police Department to stop arresting
people caught in public smoking marijuana in an effort to curb the number of minorities arrested for marijuana possession. The New York General Assembly failed to legalize recreational marijuana use