Over 300 NYC marijuana cases to be sealed under court ruling

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FILE – In this March 29, 2019 file photo, a man smokes marijuana at a Spleef NYC canna-cocktail party in New York. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday, June 3, 2019 that he no longer believes it is ‘feasible’ to legalize marijuana this year, saying he doesn’t think there are sufficient votes in the Democrat-led state Senate. Top lawmakers insist they are still trying to negotiate a compromise that could allow a bill to pass before they adjourn on June 19. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, file)

NEW YORK (AP) — Over 300 low-level marijuana possession convictions are getting sealed after prosecutors and defense lawyers worked together to ask a New York City court to do so.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office, the Legal Action Center and other groups announced the development Monday.

The ruling involves about 360 people convicted of New York’s lowest-level marijuana misdemeanor. All had no other New York misdemeanor or felony convictions or ongoing criminal cases.

New York prosecutors and lawmakers have made various efforts to eliminate what they see as unduly burdensome employment, housing and other consequences for people involved in small-time pot cases.

State legislation that takes effect later this month softens penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana, provides for automatically sealing low-level pot cases and outlines an expungement process for some past offenses.

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