According to research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), childhood cannabis use can affect learning ability, attention, memory, coordination, balance, judgment, and decision-making. Cannabis is illegal for use by persons under the age of 21 in New York State. Persons caught in New York for possessing more than the stipulated limit of cannabis may be subject to the following penalties:
More than 3 ounces of marijuana: A Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year imprisonment and a fine of not more than $1,000.
Between 8 ounces and 16 ounces: A Class E felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Second-time offenders are mandatorily sentenced to jail.
Between 16 ounces and 10 pounds: A Class D felony punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Second-time offenders are mandatorily sentenced to jail.
Above 10 pounds of marijuana: A Class C felony punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of not more than $15,000. Second-time offenders are mandatorily sentenced to jail.
Although cannabis is legal for adults aged 21 and older in New York, it does not mean they can use it anywhere they want. Cannabis can be consumed in a private home or at a state-licensed on-site consumption site. In New York, cannabis smoking or vaping, recreational or medicinal, is prohibited anywhere tobacco smoking is prohibited.
You may use cannabis in most other public places except inside cars, schools, or workplaces. Consuming medicinal cannabis in a motor vehicle on public or private highways, or parked in any lot, is prohibited. It's also unlawful to vape a medicinal marijuana product within 100 feet of a public or private school, unless you are on private property.
The MRTA includes cannabis in the Clean Indoor Air Act which establishes a baseline on where cannabis can be vaped or smoked. While a landlord cannot refuse to rent to a tenant who uses cannabis, landlords, property owners, and rental companies can still ban the use of cannabis on their premises. Hotel owners may ban cannabis use on their properties; hence you may not be able to use the product in a hotel room.
Note that cannabis remains illegal under federal law, hence you cannot use cannabis on federal lands, such as national forests and national parks. New York's recently formed Cannabis Control Board and other individual municipalities are also permitted to create additional restrictions on smoking marijuana in New York locations.
The smoking or vaporization of cannabis in prohibited locations is an offense worthy of a civil penalty of up to $25 or up to 20 hours of community service.
Cannabis and cannabis products may not be transported outside of New York State. Although recreational marijuana is now legal in several states, transportation of cannabis across state lines remains a violation of federal law. Persons caught for the first time in possession of the product may face fines of $250,000 and up to five years imprisonment. Second-time offenders are liable to pay fines worth more than $500,000 and be jailed for up to 10 years.
Cannabis is a controlled drug under federal law. As a result, its ownership and usage are presently prohibited under federal law. Transporting medicinal cannabis does not protect a qualified patient or caregiver from federal prosecution and fines.
A motorist in New York may be charged with Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)-Drugs offense if the arresting officer or a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) gathers enough evidence that shows the driver's ability to operate the motor vehicle was impaired due to ingestion of cannabis. A DWAI record can stay on your driving record for 10 years in New York. DWAIs involving serious violations, such as homicide, may be displayed permanently. Although the driver point system implemented by the Department of Motor and Vehicle does not stipulate points on licenses for convictions of driving while ability impaired (DWAI), those offenses can still cause drivers to lose their licenses.
A first-time DWAI-Drugs violation is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year inprison. For a conviction, a conditional discharge or a period of probation is often imposed. The penalties may be up to $1,000, plus obligatory fees. Furthermore, you will be placed on probation for up to three years and your driver's license will be suspended for at least 6 months. If you reject a chemical test, your penalties are likely to rise.
A second DWAI-Drugs offense within ten years will result in a Class E felony conviction. The fine may be as much as $5,000, and the offender must additionally serve a minimum of five days (perhaps community work in place of prison), not to exceed thirty days. The driving privileges of the offender may be suspended for a year, and the court may order the offender to undergo a DUI program.
A third offense within ten years will result in a Class D felony prosecution, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for a least of 7 days and a maximum of 10 years, or both. The state will require such offenders to install and maintain ignition interlock devices in any motor vehicles owned or controlled by them for a minimum of one year..
A suspended license due to a DWAI conviction may be cause for an insurance company to cancel your policy, especially for commercial drivers. Your name may be relegated to the New York Automobile Insurance Plan - a pool of high-risk drivers who struggle to find insurance companies that will cover them. This is significantly more expensive than other insurance policies.
Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) in New York State is classified into three types: Driving While Ability Impaired by a single substance other than alcohol, Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol, and Driving While Ability Impaired by a Combination of Drugs or Alcohol.
The main component of marijuana that induces intoxication is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). There is no minimum amount of THC needed for a charge, just as there is no minimum percentage of BAC for drunk driving or DWAI-Alcohol. As a consequence, any quantity of cannabis use may result in a charge. For frequent cannabis users, THC may be found in the blood for up to 7 days. However, 90 percent of THC is lost in the first hour in first-time users..
A Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) or police officer may arrest you if it appears you are under the influence of marijuana and there is probable cause to believe that you have consumed the product. Observation of a passenger in the car or the driver smoking or vaping cannabis while operating a motor vehicle is sufficient to create probable cause.
A police officer or DRE may notice your appearance when you are suspected of DWAI-Drugs. Observations made by officers include impaired or rapid speech, lack of coordination, red or watery eyes, dilated or small pupils, involuntary movements, and lack of attention. Note that many other signals may be observed by the officer indicating that you have taken a drug and your ability is impaired.
Persons pulled over by the police or DRE on suspicion of drug-related driving offenses such as DWAI-Drugs may be asked to submit to urine tests. Urine tests are popular for obtaining evidence of drug-related impairment because they cast a wide net and do not require any bodily extraction. A urine test will show a positive result for a long period of time for a person who has recently used marijuana.
By driving a car in New York, you are assumed to have agreed to a chemical test of one or more of the following: breath, blood, urine, or saliva, to detect the drug or alcohol content, if there is probable cause to think you are under the influence.
It is unlawful to drive a car in New York while under the influence of cannabis, according to the state's cannabis laws. Impaired driving may result in a charge of Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) by drugs under Section 1192(4) of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law. A "drug" is defined as any substance specified in Public Health Law 3306. This includes:
In certain cases, evidence of impairment by cannabis may be a driver's own submission to the police about consuming the product. In other cases, the evidence may come from a blood test result. However, a driver may refuse to submit to a blood test. In such cases, refusal is met with an automatic suspension of the driver's driving license.
In New York, permission to use a controlled substance or a controlled substance is not a defense to DWAI-Drugs. A person with a valid prescription for opiates, for example, may lawfully use such medications but is nonetheless banned from driving while impaired by their usage. As a result, even if a person takes the legally prescribed dosage of a legal medication, such person may still be convicted of DWAI-Drugs.
Typically, DWAIs are less serious offenses than Driving While Impaired (DWI), unless a combination of drugs and alcohol were used, causing severe impairment. A DWAI may also be a serious offense if a person was killed or injured in an accident, or significant damages resulted due to the driver's impairment.
Having only legalized adult-use cannabis in March 2021, recreational marijuana cannot yet be purchased in New York State. Recreational marijuana is not expected to begin until about 18 months later with state officials still expected to draw up regulations for the legal cannabis industry. However, medical cannabis is available to qualified patients. Patients were initially permitted to purchase up to 30 days supplies of state-mandated cannabis products. However, recent legislation signed into law in 2021 amended these rules to permit qualified patients to possess a 60-day supply of cannabis.
To purchase medical cannabis, you must hold a Medical Marijuana (MMJ) Card and be at least 18 years of age. Minors must have adult caregivers and certification from a qualified medical practitioner.
Currently, you can only purchase medical cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries. Five producers of cannabis-based preparations and up to 20 dispensing centers were licensed by New York. These dispensaries are currently open to all registered patients in the state.
Patients must bring their registration ID cards and certificates with them. Designated caregivers acquiring medicinal marijuana on behalf of patients must have their caregiver registration identity cards as well as the certificates of their patients. Online ordering is also available from certain recognized organizations.
Only medical marijuana is currently legally sold in New York; recreational marijuana is not on sale as yet. While the New York State Medical Marijuana Program administers the state's medical cannabis program, it does not set the prices of medical cannabis. The cost of marijuana-based medications varies from patient to patient. Many elements are responsible for the price, including dosage form, formulation, the dose of medication, and duration of prescribed therapy. Typically, in New York, your 30-day supply can cost anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars, depending on what you buy.
Per the MRTA, any adult over the age of 21 may possess, obtain, and transport up to 3 ounces of cannabis (marijuana "buds" or "flower") or up to 24 grams of concentrated cannabis (hashish, cannabis-infused oil, butter, sugar, etc.) in a public place without any criminal penalty.
|District of Columbia||Decriminalized||Yes||Yes|
|Georgia||Partly Decriminalized||Accepts only CBD Oil||No|
|Indiana||Partly Decriminalized||Accepts only CBD Oil||No|
|Iowa||Partly Decriminalized||Accepts only CBD Oil||No|
|Kentucky||Partly Decriminalized||Accepts only CBD Oil||No|
|New Hampshire||Partly Decriminalized||Yes||Yes|
|New Mexico||Partly Decriminalized||Yes||Yes|
|North Dakota||Partly Decriminalized||Yes||Yes|
|Rhode Island||Partly Decriminalized||Yes||Yes|
|Texas||Partly Decriminalized||Accepts only CBD Oil||No|
|Virginia||Partly Decriminalized||Accepts only CBD Oil||Yes|
|West Virginia||Partly Decriminalized||Yes||No|
|Wisconsin||Partly Decriminalized||Accepts only CBD Oil||No|