ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As New York awaits final approval on the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, some are wondering what would still be a crime when it comes to marijuana and what happens to those who were convicted for marijuana-related crimes in the past?

Legalizing recreational adult-use marijuana sounds straightforward, but the new MRTA law wouldn’t mean marijuana is legal under every circumstance. 

“You don’t want to be standing out on the street seemingly thinking it was okay to stand around and smoke marijuana because it won’t be,” Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said.

Assembly Member Peoples-Stokes has spent the past 8 years working to pass a marijuana bill with a social equity aspect. However, she said it’s important to know there are still many boundaries to what is permitted. 

Like alcohol, you must 21 years of age to possess, display, purchase, transport, or obtain marijuana. If the bill is finalized, there would be no penalty for three ounces of cannabis or up to 24 grams of concentrated cannabis.

Additionally, New Yorkers will also be allowed to grow cannabis at home: Up to six plants for personal use, as long as only three of those plants are mature one time and there are no more than 12 plants per household. 

But what abut New Yorkers who were charges with these crimes in the past? 

“The original decrim was only for one ounce and this new bill takes it up to three ounces,” Peoples-Stokes said.  

New York decriminalized marijuana in 2019, making possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana a violation instead of a crime and making the expungement application process available for certain convictions.

“So expungement being a possibility before didn’t mean it was going to be a reality,” Luke Grandis, State-wide Organizer for Vocal NY, said. “People are able to apply for their wrongful convictions to be uplifted, and those applications will sit there for 4 to 5 plus years.”

However, Grandis said the MRTA could be the law to change all that.

Grandis said those with previous marijuana convictions have been barred from the job market, and this new level of expungement through the MRTA would give them access to not only the economy but “their lives” as well.