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New York Laws & Penalties

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine  

Possession

Less than 25 g (first offense) not classified N/A $ 100
Less than 25 g (second offense) not classified N/A $ 200
Less than 25 g (third offense) not classified 15 days $ 250
25 g - 2 oz misdemeanor 3 mos $ 250
2 - 8 oz misdemeanor 1 year $ 250
8 oz - 1 lb felony 4 years $ 250
1 - 10 lbs felony 7 years $ 250
More than 10 lbs felony 15 years $ 250
In public view misdemeanor 90 days $ 250

Sale

Less than 2 g without profit misdemeanor 3 mos $ 500
Less than 25 g misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000
25 g - 4 oz felony 4 years $ 5,000
4 oz - 1 lb felony 7 years $ 5,000
More 1 lb felony 15 years $ 15,000
Using a child to assist felony 4 years $ 5,000
To a minor felony 7 years $ 5,000

Trafficking

Any amount felony 15* - 25 years $ 0
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Cultivation

Any amount* misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000
* Cultivating marijuana is also possessing marijuana under current case law. See penalty details section below.

Hash & Concentrates

Possession of up to 1/4 oz misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000
Possession of 1/4 - 1 oz felony 7 years $ 5,000
Possession of 1 oz or more felony 15 years $ 15,000
Sale felony 15 years $ 15,000

Paraphernalia

Possession or sale of scales or balances for the purpose of weighing or measuring marijuana misdemeanor 1 year $ 0
Subsequent offense felony 7 years $ 5,000

Civil Asset Forfeiture

Property can be seized if convicted of a felony.

Miscellaneous

Mandatory driver's license suspension of 6 mos for youthful offenders.

Penalty Details

Marijuana and its synthetic "equivalents" are considered Schedule I hallucinogenic substances under New York Public Health Law. Synthetic equivalents include resinous extracts and derivatives with similar chemical properties.

See:

  • New York Pub. Health §3306(d)(13)
  • New York Pub. Health §3306(d)(21)

Possession for Personal Use

For a first offender, possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana is punishable by a fine of $100. If an additional offense occurs within three years of the first offense, possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana is punishable by a fine of $200. For the third or subsequent offense(s) within a three-year period, possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana is punishable by a fine of $250 and/or imprisonment of 15 days or less. Possession of marijuana in excess of 25 grams but less than 2 ounces is a class B misdemeanor and is punishable by no more than 3 months imprisonment. Possession of marijuana in excess of 2 ounces but less than 8 ounces is a class A misdemeanor and is punishable by no more than 1 year of imprisonment. Possession of marijuana in excess of 8 ounces but less than 16 ounces is a class E felony and is punishable by no more than 4 years of imprisonment. Possession of marijuana in excess of 16 ounces but less than 10 pounds is a class D felony and is punishable by no more than 7 years of imprisonment. Possession of marijuana in excess of 10 pounds is a class C felony and is punishable by no more than 15 years of imprisonment.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code §221
  • New York Pen. Code §70
  • New York Pen. Code §80
Use or Display of Marijuana

Marijuana open to public view or being burnt in public is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250 with a maximum sentence of 90 days.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code §221.10

Sale

Exchange without payment of less than 2 grams of marijuana and/or one marijuana cigarette is a class B misdemeanor and is punishable by no more than 3 months imprisonment.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code §221.35

Sale of marijuana in any amount to a person under 18 years of age is a class D felony and is punishable by up to 7 years of imprisonment.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code § 221.50

Sale of marijuana in an amount less than 25 grams is a class A misdemeanor and is punishable by no more than 1 year of imprisonment. Sale of marijuana in an amount greater than 25 grams but less than 4 ounces is a class E felony and is punishable by up to 4 years of imprisonment. Sale of marijuana in an amount greater than 4 ounces but less than 16 ounces is a class D felony and is punishable by up to 7 years of imprisonment. Sale of marijuana in excess of 16 ounces is a class C felony and is punishable by up to 15 years of imprisonment.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code §221
  • New York Pen. Code §70
  • New York Pen. Code §80

Using a child to assist in the sale of marijuana is a class E felony and is punishable by no more than 4 years of imprisonment. This offense includes hiding marijuana on a child or otherwise directing a child to assist in a marijuana sale.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code §220.28

Trafficking

A person is considered a major trafficker of marijuana if they do one of the following: Act as the director of an organization, which sells $75000 worth of marijuana over the course of a year or less; collect $75000 or more from sales of marijuana over the course of 6 months or less; possess with intent to sell $75000 or more of marijuana over the course of 6 months or less. If one or more of the above are satisfied the person may be charged as a major trafficker, this is a class A-I felony and is punishable by 15-25 years of imprisonment.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code §220.77
  • New York Pen. Code §70.00(i)

Cultivation

Growing cannabis is a class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 1 year of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1000.

*While technically cultivation of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor, a person who cultivates marijuana is also "possessing" marijuana under current case law. Parmeter v. Feinberg affirms the state's ability to charge a person with the crime of "cultivation" and "possession" any time a person is caught growing marijuana. This means the more marijuana that a person cultivates the more severe the degree of possession that the state can charge."

Hash & Concentrates

The term 'Marihuana' as used in the New York Criminal code is defined as including both plant-form Marihuana and Concentrated Cannabis. Marihuana is listed as a Schedule 1 drug on the New York Controlled Substances Schedule. Concentrated Cannabis is defined as the separated resin of the Cannabis plant, whether purified or raw, or any mixture or preparation containing at least 2.5% THC. Unlike most other states, New York uses the term Tetrahydrocannabinols exclusively to refer to synthetic cannabinoids, not Concentrates. New York does not apply its Marihuana decriminalization law to Concentrated Cannabis. There is no explicit justification for this in the statute, but specific penalties for offenses involving Concentrated Cannabis are separated from those involving plant-form Marihuana and the distinction is noted in caselaw.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code §220
  • New York Pub. Health §3302
  • New York Pub. Health §3306
  • New York Pen. Code §55.10
  • New York Pen. Code §70.00
  • New York Pen. Code §70.15
  • New York Pen. Code §80.00
  • New York Pen. Code §80.05
  • People v. Allen, 92 N.Y.2d 378 (Ct. App. N.Y. 1998)

Possession of any amount of Concentrated Cannabis up to one-fourth of an ounce is a class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $1000.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code §220.03

Possession of between one-fourth of an ounce and one ounce of Concentrated Cannabis is a class D Felony, punishable by up to 7 years imprisonment and a fine of no more than $5000.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code §220.06

Possession of one ounce or more of Concentrated Cannabis is a class C Felony, punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of no more than $15,000.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code §220.09

The presence of any controlled substance in an automobile creates a presumption of knowing possession for all occupants of the vehicle. This principle does not apply if the controlled substance is on the person of one of the passengers and the substance is hidden from the view of other passengers.

The presence of Marihuana (including Concentrated Cannabis) in open view in a room, other than a public place, under circumstances that evince an intent to manufacture, package, or otherwise prepare the Marihuana for sale gives rise to a presumption of knowing possession for all those in close proximity to the Marihuana at the time it is found.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code §220.25

Sale of any amount of Concentrated Cannabis is a class C Felony subject to no more than 15 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $15,000.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code §220.34

Sale of any amount of Concentrated Cannabis on a school bus, on the grounds of a child day care or educational facility, or in a publically accessible area within 1000 feet of the real property line of such a facility is a class B Felony subject to no more than 25 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $30,000.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code §220.44

Sale of any amount of Concentrated Cannabis by a person 21 years old or more to a person 17 years old or younger is a class B Felony subject to no more than 25 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $30,000.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code §220.48

Paraphernalia

Possession or sale of scales or balances for the purpose of weighing or measuring marijuana is a class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 1 year of imprisonment. Any subsequent conviction of possession or sale of paraphernalia is a class D felony and is punishable by up to 7 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5000.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code §220.50
  • New York Pen. Code §220.55
  • New York Pen. Code §70
  • New York Pen. Code §80

Forfeiture

If convicted of a felony offense the following may be forfeited, unless the forfeiture would be disproportionate from what the defendant gained from the offense: the proceeds from the offense, instruments used in the offense (including a car).

See:

  • New York Pen. Code §480.05

Miscellaneous

Mandatory suspension for a period of six months where the holder is convicted of, or receives a youthful offender or other juvenile adjudication in connection with any crime in violation of the Federal Controlled Substances Act.

See:

  • New York Pen. Code § 510(2)(b)(v)
Decriminalization

The state has decriminalized marijuana to some degree. Typically, decriminalization means no prison time or criminal record for first-time possession of a small amount for personal consumption. The conduct is treated like a minor traffic violation.

Mandatory Minimum Sentence

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to "life MMS" must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

Medical Marijuana

This state has medical marijuana laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana's medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective. For more information see NORML's Medical Marijuana section.







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