From time to time, state officials and lawmakers revisit the legality of drug use in light of changing attitudes in society. In recent years in New York, most of the action concerns marijuana usage and sales.
The new landscape of drug laws took a firmer shape in September 2021.
The legalization of recreational marijuana
The NY Times reports that New Yorkers can now possess up to three ounces of cannabis without legal consequences. The battle to legalize marijuana took many years to finally come to fruition. The new legislation covers many aspects of recreational marijuana usage, and also made some changes to the circumstances of medicinal marijuana use.
While much of the new law goes into effect immediately, some provisions must wait for the creation of regulations. For example, sales of marijuana for recreational use will likely have to wait until 2022.
New Yorkers aged 21 or older can now smoke or consume cannabis products and they can also give them to other adults. Adults can store up to five pounds of marijuana at home, with the stipulation that the product remains in a safe place away from minors. New Yorkers can smoke marijuana in most public places that allow tobacco smoking
The details of the law
Some penalties still exist for violations of the law, such as having too much of the drug at one time or selling the drug without a license. Penalties range from a simple violation to a felony depending upon the offense.
Some public places can still regulate the use of cannabis, such as schools. Individuals can not use marijuana in a vehicle. Also, users can receive penalties for operating a vehicle while impaired from marijuana use.