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Last Updated on: 12th October 2023, 12:00 am
Let’s talk about marijuana laws in New York. I know this can be a confusing topic, so I wanted to break it down in a simple way.New York has come a long way in recent years when it comes to cannabis policy. In March 2021, the state legalized recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and over through the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). The law immediately removed penalties for possessing up to 3 ounces of cannabis flower or 24 grams of concentrates in public. It also set up a system to automatically expunge many past marijuana convictions.But that doesn’t mean you can just light up a joint anywhere you want! There are still rules around where and how you can possess and consume weed. Let’s get into the nitty gritty details.
More than 5-10 pounds is a felony with 4-7 years in prison and fines from $5000-$10,000.
You can’t smoke or vape weed in places where tobacco smoking is banned. That includes restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, hotel rooms, etc. If you’re caught smoking in prohibited areas, you’ll face a civil penalty similar to a tobacco violation.
My advice? Enjoy your bud at home or a friend’s house where you know it’s allowed. Be discreet in public. And don’t smoke near kids!
This is where things get really tricky. New York has NOT legalized recreational sales yet. Dispensaries are only allowed to sell medical marijuana to registered patients right now.So any sale of weed on the street is still illegal, even small amounts. Here are the potential penalties:
Yikes! As you can see, selling marijuana outside of a licensed dispensary can still land you in serious trouble. My advice? Don’t do it. Wait until recreational sales are up and running so you can buy and sell legally.
Growing your own weed at home will be allowed in New York…eventually. The MRTA says adults can have up to 6 plants per person, 12 per household. But home grow won’t be legal until 1-2 years after the first recreational dispensaries open up.
So for now, any home cultivation is still a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1000 fine. I know it sucks to wait, but hang in there a little longer! Once regulations are in place, you’ll be able to grow your own dank bud.
Heads up: you still can’t travel across state lines or internationally with marijuana. Bringing cannabis across borders is a big no-no according to federal law. You also can’t bring weed onto federal lands like national parks.
My advice? Consume all your bud before traveling or mail it to yourself domestically. Getting caught at an airport or border crossing would really harsh your mellow.
If you’re under 21, any amount of weed is illegal. You’ll face a civil penalty of $50 for first offense, $100 for second offense, $250 for third+ offense. You’ll also have to complete a drug education program.
I know it’s tempting, but trust me, it’s just not worth it. There are real health risks to using marijuana before your brain fully develops at age 25. Just wait a few years until it’s legal for you. Your future self will thank you!
One of the best parts of the MRTA is it provides for expungement of many past marijuana criminal records. You can apply to have certain low-level pot convictions permanently sealed. This helps people get jobs, housing, and move on with their lives.
If you or a loved one has an old marijuana charge, look into applying for expungement. It’s an awesome chance at a fresh start!
Phew, that was a lot of info! As you can see, marijuana laws are complex, but the tides are shifting in New York. We’re headed in a much more just and compassionate direction.My best advice is to consume cannabis responsibly in private residences until retail sales are up and running. Be discreet in public and avoid crossing borders with weed. If we all follow the laws, we’ll get expanded rights faster.Let me know if you have any other questions! I’m always happy to chat about cannabis legalization. Stay safe and peaceful out there friends.
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