NY lawmakers eye decriminalization after legal pot stalls

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FILE – In this April 12, 2018, file photo, nugs of marijuana await packaging near Shelton, Wash. A new federally funded study found, not surprisingly, that marijuana use in Washington state is up since pot became legal in 2014. The hard, or not-so-hard, evidence was in sewage samples. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Lawmakers in New York state are considering a proposal to eliminate criminal penalties for public possession and use of marijuana after efforts to legalize pot stalled.

The legislation would replace low-level criminal charges with civil tickets similar to a parking ticket. It would also allow people to get low-level pot convictions expunged from their records.

A vote was expected in the Senate and Assembly on Thursday, when lawmakers hope to adjourn for the year.

Legislation that would have legalized recreational marijuana for those 21 and older and regulated and taxed commercial sales fell flat on Wednesday.

Lawmakers couldn’t agree on key details, such as how tax revenue would be used and how local communities would decide whether they want to host dispensaries.

Advocates say they’ll try again next year.

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