Drug Laws

Changing New York laws on Marijuana Possession

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Drug Laws | 0 comments

Things are certainly moving fast on the marijuana front in New York. While marijuana possession is still prohibited, being caught with small amounts of the substance for personal use is no longer a crime. Instead, police are directed to give these offenders a ticket and made to pay a fine for possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana.

This was an announcement made in the second week of November 2014 by NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton. This is a great relief for recreational users and the NYPD, which makes upward of 20,000 arrests for low-level marijuana possession every year. At this time, anyone caught with a small amount of marijuana will no longer be detained and fingerprinted but issued a summons and ordered to pay a fine.

But these changes fall short of legalizing cannabis completely. Repeat offenders, marijuana use in public, having large amounts of weed, and those with outstanding warrants will still be arrested and charged. The sanctions may vary depending on the circumstances and amount of the substance found.

Possession is an iffy thing in most jurisdictions; when illegal substances are found on someone’s property, it is presumed that the premises owner (or leaseholder) has knowledge of it. But in many cases, drugs (including marijuana) found in large amounts in a car or house is there without the knowledge or consent of the property owner, but nevertheless becomes involved in criminal charges. Prosecutors will do their utmost to justify such charges.

If you have been charged in Westchester or any other county in New York State with serious offenses involving marijuana, you could be in real trouble. Consult with an experienced drug possession lawyer in the area to help you mount a strong defense and avoid the consequences of a conviction.

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