What Are the Marijuana Laws in New York?

O’Brien & Wood PLLC

With the growing acceptance of the use of both medical and social marijuana throughout the U.S., many states have begun to decriminalize it. States like Colorado, California, Maine, and Washington have legalized both recreational and medical marijuana along with seven others. While efforts have been made to do the same in New York, it has yet to come fully into fruition. As of 2020, medical marijuana is approved in the state while recreational marijuana has been decriminalized but not made legal. This remains the state of affairs despite the face that it has been estimated that over 60 percent of New Yorkers favor marijuana legalization.

Medical Marijuana in New York

Medical marijuana is allowed in the state for many diseases and conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer
  • PTSD
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Any condition in which the person experiences chronic pain, nausea, muscle spasms, or other disorders that would lead to chronic opioid use

Anyone in need of medical marijuana must obtain it through a doctor’s prescription, obtaining a Registry ID card, and purchasing only through a registered organization that dispenses it. Failure to do so may lead to a violation of New York law.

Other New York Laws on Marijuana Possession

For those seeking to use marijuana recreationally, it is still illegal. However, if you are found in possession of up to an ounce, it is only a civil violation punishable by a fine of $50 without jail time.

Possession of one to two ounces is still a civil violation. However, this amount carries a fine of up to $200.

Quantities in your possession above two ounces will be criminally charged. Possession of two to eight ounces is a misdemeanor carrying up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

The possession of eight up to 16 ounces is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The possession of one up to 10 pounds of marijuana is a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The possession of more than 10 pounds carries up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. It is also a felony to involve a minor in any marijuana offense.

Marijuana Sales & Trafficking Charges

When it comes to selling or trafficking in marijuana, charges become much more serious. Selling an amount that is more than 25 grams is a felony. The charges break down at 25 grams up to four ounces, four ounces up to one pound, and anything above one pound. These crimes are punishable according to their quantities on a scale of four, seven, or 15 years in prison with fines of $5,000 up to $15,000. Similar laws apply to hash and concentrates.

A first offense involving possession or sale of marijuana paraphernalia, such as scales, balances, etc. is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail while subsequent offenses are classified as felonies. In any marijuana felony offense, you will also be likely subject to property seizure.

Facing Criminal Charges Involving Marijuana in Albany?

If you have been charged with any marijuana or other drug offense in Albany, it is highly recommended that you seek legal representation. At O’Brien & Wood PLLC, we routinely handle cases of clients facing all types of drug charges and are deeply familiar with the laws and the local courts that process these cases. Our criminal defense team is a highly-respected group of seasoned litigators who will fight tenaciously to defend your rights and help you in your search for the best possible outcome despite the odds.

Reach out to O’Brien & Wood PLLC at (518) 240-9992 to speak with an attorney about your case in a free evaluation today.