Most New York residents likely know that over the last few years, a handful of states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation that has allows marijuana to be used for recreational purposes within their jurisdictions. While the trend started in the western part of the country, neighboring Vermont and Massachusetts have followed suit and there are rumblings that New Jersey may also legalize recreational pot.
It is important to know that any state-specific marijuana law does not supercede federal laws and there remain strict regulations around transporting marijuana across state lines via any form of transportation including land, water or air. To date, the state of New York has held firmly to its stance against legalizing pot for non-medicinal purposes. Even the laws in New York that allow marijuana to be used as part of a medical therapy or treatment protocol, the use is limited. Currently there are estimated to be more than 40,000 people allowed to use pot medicinally in New York.
Knowing that other states in the region have or may legalize recreational pot has led the current Governor of New York to propose research be completed on the impact of legalizing marijuana in New York. It is unclear when the research may be conducted or completed but it will likely garner much attention when it is released as many people would like to see a change in this law.
New Yorkers who are facing criminal charges related to marijuana or another substance might find talking with an attorney a useful way of knowing how to protect themselves.
Source: Democrat & Chronicle, “New York to look at legalizing recreational marijuana,” Jon Campbell, January 16, 2018