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Sen. Jamaal T. Bailey, D-Bronx, left, fist bumps Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy, D-Buffalo, after Bailey's legislation expanding decriminalization legislation for marijuana passed during a legislative session at the state Capitol in Albany on Thursday. Sen. Jamaal T. Bailey, D-Bronx, left, fist bumps Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy, D-Buffalo, after Bailey’s legislation expanding decriminalization legislation for marijuana passed during a legislative session at the state Capitol in Albany overnight Thursday into Friday. Photo: Hans Pennink/AP

New York will not legalize marijuana for recreational, adult use this year, but state lawmakers approved a handful of reforms aimed at decriminalizing the drug to avoid leaving Albany for the year without any movement on the issue.

After negotiations on a broader measure to regulate and tax the drug stalled in recent days, lawmakers opted to pass legislation early Friday morning that will remove criminal charges for possessing small amounts of marijuana and allow for automatic expungement of past convictions.

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Dan M. Clark

Dan M. Clark is the Albany reporter for the New York Law Journal. He covers the state Court of Appeals, the state legislature, state regulators, and more. Email Dan anytime at [email protected]

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