While New York lawmakers stop short of making Marijuana legal in the state, they did take the first steps to make the possession of the controlled substance legal.

According to the AP,

Lawmakers in New York state have voted to eliminate criminal penalties for public possession and use of marijuana after efforts to legalize pot stalled.

 

The measure would reduce low-level criminal charges for unlawful possession of marijuana to a violation, which comes with a fine similar to a parking ticket. The penalty would be $50 for possessing less than one ounce of pot or $200 for one to two ounces.

 

The bill was passed late Thursday afternoon just hours before they adjourned for the summer. This billed was seen as a backup after a bill for complete legalization failed to pass on Wednesday.

Lawmakers called the bill a big step forward for the state.