While more states legalize medical and recreational Cannabis, the marijuana laws of New York remain mostly intact. Marijuana is classified in New York as a Schedule I substance, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and no generally accepted medical value. In fact, in 2008 alone, New York City arrested over 40,000 people for Marijuana.
New York allows the limited use of medical marijuana in the state, with the operation of up to 20 dispensaries. These facilities could prescribe on a state list non-smokable marijuana preparations (i.e. tinctures, edibles) for people with cancer, glaucoma or other diseases, but it would be much harder to get than in states like California.
All of this begs the question, is pot legal in New York yet? New York’s drug laws are complex, even complicated, based on this legislative history. For drug possession alone, there are half a dozen different classes of felonies laid out. If you are charged with a drug offense, it is imperative to consult an experienced drug crime attorney in New York.
Under the New York Public Health Law, marijuana and its synthetic “equivalents” are considered hallucinogenic substances in Schedule I. Synthetic equivalents include resin extracts and chemical-like derivatives.
Possession for Personal Use
- Up to 25 grams of marijuana is punishable by a fine of $100 for the first offender.
- Possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana shall be punishable by a fine of $200 if a new offense occurs within three years of the first offense.
- Possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana shall be punishable by a fine of $250 and imprisonment of 15 days or less for a third or after offense within a three years.
- Marijuana possession exceeding 25 grams 2 ounces is a Class B misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 3 months and a fine not exceeding $500.
- Marijuana possession exceeding 2 ounces-8 ounces is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment for no more than 1 year and a fine not exceeding $1,000.
- Marijuana possession exceeding 8 ounces-16 ounces is a Class E felony and is punishable by imprisonment for no more than 4 years and a fine not exceeding $5,000.
- Possession of marijuana exceeding 16 ounces— 10 pounds is a Class D offense and is punishable by imprisonment for no more than 7 years and a fine not exceeding $5,000.
- Marijuana possession exceeding 10 pounds is a C-class felony and is punishable by imprisonment for no more than 15 years and a fine not exceeding $15,000.
Display of Marijuana:
Marijuana open to the public or burned in public is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a $ 250 fine with a 90-day maximum sentence.
Sale of 25 grams or less of marijuana is a Class A crime and is punishable by no more than 1 year’s imprisonment and a fine not to exceed 1,000 dollars. Sale of marijuana above 25 grams-4 ounces is a Class E felony and is punishable by imprisonment for up to 4 years and a fine not to exceed $5,000. Sale of marijuana in excess of 4 ounces-16 ounces is a Class D offense and is punishable by imprisonment for up to 7 years and a fine not to exceed $5,000. Sale of more than 16 ounces of marijuana is a C-class a felony, punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $15,000.
Using a child to help with the sale of marijuana is a felony of Class E and is punishable by imprisonment for no more than 4 years and a fine not to exceed $ 5,000. This offense includes hiding marijuana on a child or directing a child to help with the sale of marijuana.
A person is considered to be a major marijuana trafficker if they do one of the following: act as the director of an organization that sells $75,000 worth of marijuana over a year or less; collect $75,000 or more from marijuana sales over a period of six months or less; possess intentional sales of $75,000 or more over a period of six months or less. If one or more of the above is satisfied the person may be charged as a major trafficker, this is a felony of class A-I and is punishable by 15-25 years of imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $100,000.
Hash & Concentrates:
The term ‘Marihuana‘ as used in the Criminal Code of New York is defined to include both plant-form marijuana and concentrated cannabis. Marihuana is listed in the New York Controlled Substances Schedule as a Schedule 1 drug. Concentrated cannabis is defined as the Cannabis plant’s separate resin, whether purified or raw or any mixture or preparation that contains at least 2.5% THC. In contrast to most other states, New York exclusively uses the term Tetrahydrocannabinols to refer to synthetic cannabinoids, not concentrate. New York does not apply to concentrated cannabis its law on marijuana decriminalization.