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New York Marijuana Laws

While medical and recreational marijuana gets legalized in more states (Colorado and Washington to start), New York's marijuana laws remain intact. New York has a long history of having among the toughest drug laws in America.

Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance in New York, which means that it has a high potential for abuse and no generally recognized medical value. Indeed, New York City arrested more than 40,000 people for marijuana in 2008 alone.

In 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to allow limited use of medical marijuana, with only 20 hospitals across the state allowed to prescribe it. Those facilities would be able to prescribe marijuana to people with cancer, glaucoma or other diseases on a state list, but it would be much harder to get than in states like California.

Based on this legislative history, New York's drug laws are complex, even convoluted. There are half a dozen different classes of felonies laid out for drug possession alone. It's imperative to consult an experienced New York drug crime attorney if you are charged with a drug offense.

With that caveat, the basic provisions of New York marijuana laws are listed in the table below. See FindLaw's Drug Charges section and Details on State Cocaine Laws to learn more.

Code Section Penal §220, et seq.; Pub. Health §3306, 3307
Possession

Up to 25 grams - civil violation that incurs fines but no jail time

25 grams to 2 ounces - up to three months in jail and/or $500 fine

2 to 8 ounces - up to one year in jail and/or $1,000 fine

8 to 16 ounces - 1-4 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine (mandatory prison time for second offenses)

16 ounces to 10 pounds - 1-7 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine (mandatory prison time for second offenses)

10 pounds or more - 1-15 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine (mandatory prison time for second offenses)

Sale

Up to two ounces without payment -  up to three months in jail and/or up to $500 fine

Cultivating or selling up to 24 grams - up to 1 year in jail and/or up to $1,000 fine

25 grams to four ounces - 1-4 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine

4 to 16 ounces - 1-7 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine

16 ounces or more - 1-15 years in prison and/or up $5,000 fine

(Selling any amount to a minor - 1-7 years in jail and/or up to $5,000 fine.)

Trafficking -

Note: Again, New York's drug laws are intricately written and requires intensive legal research.  Contacting a New York drug crime attorney is your best course of action, as well as conducting exhaustive legal research to verify where you fall under the statute.

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