New York Decriminalizes Marijuana During Final Hours of Legislative Session

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New York lawmakers worked through hundreds of bills yesterday into today (June 20-21) during the final hours of their legislative session. The State Senate officially adjourned just before 1:00 this morning and State Assembly shortly followed.

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Here are a few of the highlights:


Marijuana was not legalized, but it was decriminalized in NY for under two ounces of possession. Advocates of full legalization say they intend to keep trying.

Climate Change

Lawmakers passed new standards for carbon emissions in New York that seek to achieve 100% renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions by 85% by 2050. Once enacted, this legislation would give New York the most aggressive on climate change of any state in the country.

Birth Certificates for Adoptees

The state also authorized adult adoptees to obtain a certified copy of their original birth certificate without appearing before a judge to do so.


A measure to legalize and regulate paid surrogacy fell through and did not pass.

Solitary Confinement

The Legislature did not vote on a bill that would’ve restricted the use of solitary confinement in prison to 15 days.

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