Marijuana is legal in New York both medically and recreationally as of March 31st, 2021. Along with its legalization, many other initiatives seek to expunge past criminal records involving small-scale criminal charges.
It is a big change considering the previous prohibition. You now have the allowance to purchase, possess and use marijuana without fear of criminal charges—to a point.
Who may use marijuana?
Like alcohol, this allowance applies to adults 21 and older. As the New York Office of Cannabis Management details said adults may possess up to three ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of concentrated cannabis.
Adults may also cultivate up to 6 cannabis plants in their homes for personal use.
What happens over that?
Possession of marijuana just above this limit—up to 16 ounces of cannabis or 5 ounces of concentrate—carries a fine of $125, but does not count as a misdemeanor or felony. More than that gets into criminal possession.
What can you not do with marijuana?
Selling marijuana without a license is still illegal at any amount. You may receive a fine of up to $250 for knowingly selling up to the legal limit of possession. Selling more than that risks misdemeanor or felony charges.
You may also not smoke cannabis anywhere a location prohibits smoking tobacco.
How do you defend yourself?
Criminal charges risk the stability of your future and your career. Despite the legality of marijuana these days, it is still possible to face drug charges and potential convictions due to the drug. It is important to know the limits of the law, remain calm and lean on your resources when defending against any criminal drug allegations.