The Limits of New York’s Marijuana Legalization Law

New York has generally legalized recreational use and possession of marijuana and cannabis-containing products. However, there are still restrictions that you need to know in order to avoid possible criminal prosecution.

Here is a summary of what is now legal in New York for individuals age 21 or older:

  • You can possess up to three ounces of cannabis or up to 24 grams of concentrated cannabis for personal use.
  • You can use, smoke, ingest or consume cannabis-based products and provide them to others who are also age 21 or older.
  • You can smoke cannabis at home, as long as your landlord permits its use. The use of cannabis is also allowed at motels and hotels so long as the establishment doesn’t prohibit it.
  • You can store up to five pounds of cannabis products at home. However, you are required to take reasonable measures to ensure the cannabis is securely stored and not accessible by someone under the age of 21.

Additionally, law enforcement can no longer use the odor, possession, or proximity of cannabis to establish reasonable cause to believe an individual has committed a crime.

However, the following restrictions on cannabis possession and use still exist:

  • It is still illegal for individuals under the age of 21 to use marijuana in any form.
  • Smoking cannabis at school, work or in a vehicle is not permissible.
  • It is illegal to possess or sell three or more ounces of cannabis or greater than 24 grams of concentrated cannabis.
  • You cannot smoke or vape cannabis in any public place where it is prohibited or where smoking tobacco is not permitted. State law provides for imposing civil penalties, including a $25 fine and up to 20 hours of community service.
  • Just like driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle while impaired or under the influence of marijuana is a traffic offense.

In addition, even though recreational use is legal in several states, the transportation of cannabis between states is still a federal offense, so use and possession should be kept firmly within state lines.

The Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C. provides effective defense in drug offense cases in Rochester and the surrounding areas. Mention our website when you call us at 585-563-1134, or contact us online and receive a free 30-minute initial consultation. We offer convenient business hours and offer evening and Saturday meetings by appointment.


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