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Will you go to jail for marijuana in New York?

| Jul 14, 2021 | Criminal Defense

You may have heard that New York legalized marijuana, and it is true that you can legally buy small amounts and even have them on your person. For 2.9 ounces or less, there is no longer a penalty. Recreational use of the drug is more freely done than ever before. 

But is it still possible to go to jail for marijuana, or is everything legal at this point? Could you still accidentally break the law if you assume that marijuana is fully decriminalized? 

The amount you have in your possession really does matter

The thing to remember is that selling and distributing marijuana is still illegal. As such, the authorities have set up laws based on the amount of marijuana you have on you. 

For instance, it’s a misdemeanor if you have anywhere from three to eight ounces on you at once. You could be fined up to $1,000 and you could face jail time of up to a year. 

If you have more than 8 ounces, then it becomes a felony. If you’re still under a pound, the fine is $5,000 and the potential jail time is 4 years. For totals between one and 10 pounds, the fine is still $5,000, but you could do up to seven years. 

Understanding the full scope of the new marijuana laws

As you can see, just assuming that marijuana is now legal is problematic. The laws have changed, but the new laws do not simply make everything legal. If you do accidentally break these laws and you are facing drug charges, you need to know what steps to take to protect your freedom and your future.