“Can I Smoke Weed On The Street?”: What You Need To Know About Legal Marijuana In NY


On Wednesday morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the historic marijuana legalization regulation that the state legislature handed in a single day. The sponsors of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) say that it’s going to take a substantial period of time for the regulatory system for authorized hashish to be created and for licenses to be issued, which suggests it could possibly be 16 to 18 months earlier than New York will be capable to stroll right into a retailer and purchase authorized weed.

However marijuana is authorized for adults proper now, and plenty of felony penalties linked to its use have been eliminated. Here is how the regulation might have an effect on you.

Can I smoke weed on the road?

Adults 21 and older can smoke or devour marijuana wherever it’s presently authorized to make use of tobacco.

How a lot marijuana am I allowed to have?

You may have as much as 3 ounces, both at house, or in public. In a number of months, when the Workplace of Hashish Administration units up the everlasting laws for the hashish economic system, New Yorkers will be capable to have as much as 5 kilos of pot at house. However not fairly but.

Can I smoke a joint within the park?

Smoking tobacco is prohibited in metropolis parks, and thus so is smoking marijuana.

Nevertheless, the penalty for smoking marijuana is now not a felony offense. It is a civil infraction, like littering. You can face a $25 fantastic, and as much as 20 hours of neighborhood service should you’re discovered responsible.

If I am underneath 21 and the cops catch me smoking weed, what’s going to occur?

Minors in possession of marijuana face a civil penalty of $50 and drug training. There are not any felony penalties, and the penalties don’t escalate with the variety of offenses.

What if I am promoting marijuana now, can I preserve promoting it?

It is a violation to promote any quantity of marijuana unlawfully underneath the MRTA, however harsh penalties for promoting decrease quantities have been eliminated.

“As a result of there is not any regulated market, you’ll be topic to a felony violation and a fantastic of as much as $250, should you promote any quantity underneath 3 ounces,” stated Eli Northrup, coverage counsel for The Bronx Defenders. “Something greater than that could be a misdemeanor.”

Can an NYPD officer cease me and search me as a result of they scent weed?

No, the MRTA doesn’t permit the police to make use of the odor of marijuana, whether or not it is burned or not, as a motive for a cease and search. This once more was a aim of the MRTA’s sponsors, who pointed to the explosion of marijuana arrests in the course of the stop-and-frisk period.

In 1994, the NYPD made 3,000 arrests for smoking marijuana in public; in 2000, they made 50,000 such arrests; within the mid-2000s, that quantity had dropped to round 30,000 a 12 months.

The overwhelming majority of these arrested—85%—have been Black or Latino; whilst marijuana arrests dipped to historic lows over the previous few years, the racial disparities nonetheless exist.

In an interview with PIX 11 on Wednesday, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea stated it was “troubling” that New Yorkers will now be capable to smoke marijuana exterior, as a result of the division fields so many complaints in regards to the scent of marijuana.

“I don’t know what we’re going to be telling New Yorkers once they name up and say, there’s individuals smoking in entrance of my home or house constructing or I take my youngsters to a parade, whether or not its on Japanese Parkway or on Fifth Avenue, and there are individuals smoking marijuana subsequent to me as I attempt to benefit from the parade,” Shea stated.

As for Shea’s considerations, Northrup countered, “I don’t understand how that will probably be any completely different from individuals complaining about second-hand smoke.”

He added, “I believe what the commissioner is absolutely frightened about is that officers can now not use that odor as a pretext to cease, search, and harass individuals. It’s the primary foundation we see for police looking vehicles, looking individuals, and once I say looking vehicles, looking individuals, it’s individuals of shade. That device has been faraway from their toolbox, they’re going to should do precise police work.”

Can the police pull me over and say they scent marijuana and use that to cost me with DUI?

Sure, the police can use the scent of marijuana to find out if somebody is driving whereas intoxicated. That regulation already exists, and New Yorkers are already prosecuted for driving underneath the affect of weed.

Not like alcohol, the place there’s a authorized restrict of 0.08, there isn’t a restrict with marijuana, so any degree of use whereas working a motorized vehicle is a felony misdemeanor.

In case you should trip in a automotive with marijuana, it is best to deal with it like an open container of alcohol, and retailer it within the trunk.

The regulation says that I can develop as much as six crops in my house—can I plant these seeds now?

Till the MRTA units up the regulatory system for rising marijuana, house rising remains to be technically illegal—however there are not any felony penalties for it.

Additionally, your landlord or co-op board might have their very own prohibitions on this exercise, identical to they could have prohibitions on smoking cigarettes indoors. Verify your lease.

I stay in a NYCHA constructing, can I smoke weed indoors?

No, that’s technically unlawful, as marijuana remains to be federally prohibited, and in 2018 NYCHA banned cigarette smoking in every single place apart from designated areas.

I used to be arrested for smoking marijuana a couple of years in the past, will that arrest now go away?

Sure. The whole lot that’s now authorized underneath the MRTA will probably be mechanically expunged.

What if I used to be arrested and convicted of promoting weed?

In accordance with Northrup, should you have been convicted of felony sale within the fifth diploma, or 4th diploma—something lower than 25 grams of marijuana—your conviction will mechanically be expunged.

Can I get fired for utilizing weed?

The MRTA has employment protections towards being fired for a optimistic marijuana take a look at, but when your job requires any kind of federal clearance, the prohibition on federal marijuana supersedes state regulation. Your boss can hearth you for getting excessive on the job, identical to they may hearth you for consuming on the job.

Will these drug convictions stop me from getting a license on this new weed economic system?

No, and this was very deliberate on the a part of the legislature. Solely convictions for fraud and illegal enterprise practices will prohibit New Yorkers from acquiring a license.

The MRTA’s most important sponsor within the Meeting, Crystal Peoples-Stokes, was requested level clean on the ground if individuals convicted of drug crimes would be capable to take part within the authorized hashish economic system.

“Sure,” she replied, and pointed to the ten distinction licenses the MRTA will ultimately hand out: cultivators, processors, distributors, dispensaries, consumption websites, cooperatives, deliverers, nurseries, and microbusinesses, which can function like microbreweries.

“There will probably be a number of alternatives for them,” Peoples-Stokes stated.