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Assembly Speaker: Expunge NY Marijuana Convictions If Pot Is Legalized

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie
Karen DeWitt
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A top lawmaker in New York says that if the state legalizes recreational marijuana it should also consider expunging marijuana-related criminal records that can make it harder for many people to find jobs or housing.

Democratic state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie told state Capitol reporters Wednesday that he wants to broaden the debate about legalizing marijuana to include proposals to help those still struggling in the shadow of past criminal convictions for the drug.

A state task force created by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is poised to release a report on possible legalization. Bills that would subject marijuana use to regulations and taxes have long been introduced in the Legislature and are getting fresh attention in the face of evolving attitudes about marijuana.

© 2018 AP

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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