Marijuana is not actually legal on the streets of the Big Apple. However, the state of New York passed a program allowing the use of medical marijuana for specific conditions. The state, however, restricted the consumption to strictly non-smokable forms of cannabis. Being found in possession of small-time marijuana has been decriminalized throughout the state including New York City.
But what does this mean? This simply means that anyone caught in possession of fewer than 25 grams of marijuana can be penalized up to a $100 fine. The fine gradually increases depending on whether it is the second or third offense. For habitual offenders, they risk a short visit to jail. The NYPD, however, has had a difficult time implementing this.
Public Consumption of Marijuana in NYC
All this doesn’t seem too strict. But the NYC state government has strictly prohibited public consumption. Getting caught smoking publicly leaves you at the risk of 90 days in jail. Fines for this reach $250. If you are caught with other variations of marijuana, excluding raw flower, the penalty increases. This leaves edibles, oils and concentrates’ possession exposed to high fines and can land someone in jail for up to a year.
Legalization in NYC
The state is looking to legalize the consumption of marijuana and any of its product in the upcoming legislative session in 2019. This will be met with opposition, especially from conservative lawmakers. But prohibition has not stopped New Yorkers from buying or selling marijuana. Many are also freely smoking it on the streets.
The state’s black market is set to flourish even further than previous years especially after more states legalize it. With taxes amounting to $700M, it appears legalizing marijuana will be an easy decision to make.