New York lawmakers passed a bill late on Tuesday to legalise adult use of marijuana, making it the 15th state in the United States to allow recreational use of the drug.
"The legalization of marijuana is a racial and criminal justice imperative, and today's vote is a critical step towards a fairer and more just system," New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement after the Senate's 40-23 vote to pass the bill.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was looking forward to signing the legislation into law.
"New York has a storied history of being the progressive capital of the nation, and this important legislation will once again carry on that legacy," he said in a statement.
The decision was also welcomed by NORML, a pro-marijuana group, which said that tens of thousands of New Yorkers were arrested every year over petty marijuana offenses, and that most were young, poor, and people of color.