Wall Clock3 min read
smoking marijuana

With new reforms and decriminalization of marijuana in New York, possession penalties and punishments for smoking marijuana in public is reduced to fine tickets rather than imprisonment.

Weed consumption in public used to be a criminal offense with a prison sentence of up to 90 days. But the decriminalization of marijuana in New York has reduced the punishments to ticket penalties. 

marijuana descriminization law

“Although there has been some form of decriminalization in New York since 1977, marijuana criminalization has continued to harm communities, break up families, and cost New York taxpayers billions of dollars over the last forty years,” said Tyler McFadden, a Political Associate for NORML.

“State lawmakers made the correct decision by taking this significant step to decriminalize marijuana and expunge previous records, and the move provides lawmakers and activists the momentum they lastly need to legalize marijuana in the Empire State.”

While the new legislation seems to have massive improvement, after notably failing to fully legalize cannabis.

The New law:

The New York Marijuana Laws: Since 1977, marijuana possession in New York has been decriminalized for amounts of 25 grams or less.

With new laws of 2019, Marijuana Possession shifts to a non-criminal breach in the fifth degree of low-level misdemeanor. Which implies there would be no arrest for possession of weed, rather a penalty ticket. These penalty tickets start with $50 for consuming less than one ounce and a maximum of $200 for 1-2 ounces.

Even Expunging The Records:

Under the decriminalization law, residents with low-level marijuana convictions will automatically be expunged of their records. Nearly 14,000 people from the five districts and nearly 11,000 others across the state will be eligible, according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

marijuana laws

Breakdown Of The Decriminalization law:

  • Possession of fewer than two ounces of marijuana is no more crime, rather a violation. The violation still is an arrestable offense, but it won’t result in a prison term or criminal record.
  • The penalty for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is reduced from $100 to $50. And between one and two ounces is $200, without any addition in the criminal record.
  • These tickets or penalties may land you in court. That’s because of answering the reason for the violation.
  • Most prior convictions of 25 grams or less of marijuana will be automatically expunged.
  • Under the law, all violations are non-criminal offenses that mean, it won’t appear in your public criminal history.
  • Smoking Marijuana is prohibited wherever smoking tobacco is prohibited as it will fall under Public Health Law.
  • As being illegal to sell or grow marijuana, you can only buy it legally from marijuana dispensaries.


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