Many states across the country are amending their marijuana laws. New York has recently joined in on this movement by decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of the drug. However, because New York has not yet legalized the recreational use of marijuana, there are still consequences for having this substance on your person.
Legal penalties for marijuana possession
When New York passed the bill to decriminalize marijuana, they changed the offense for possessing two ounces or less of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a violation. A police officer still has the right to make an arrest if you have this drug in your possession, but there will be no crime added to your record.
Additionally, the state revised the fines for having this substance on your person. The penalty for having an ounce or less has been lowered to $50. Legislators also reduced the punishment for having two ounces or less to $200.
Any amount over two ounces of marijuana could result in more severe consequences. Having between two to eight ounces on you will result in a misdemeanor and potential jail time of one year. You could also receive a fine of $1,000 or less. The legal repercussions continue to increase from there and you could face felony charges for having more than eight ounces in your control.
Lawmakers in New York are hoping to introduce and pass a legalization bill in the near future. But, until then, possessing marijuana could result in legal consequences. If you are facing a marijuana-related charge or have any questions, reaching out to a seasoned criminal defense attorney can be helpful.