The use of marijuana has been a hotly debated topic in recent years both in New York and throughout the rest of the U.S. Some states permit its use (even recreationally), while many others (as well as the federal Drug Enforcement Agency) consider it a Schedule I substance (which is the highest classification of controlled substances).
If you have questions about whether the use of marijuana is lawful, you are not alone; many of those who have come to us here at Sapone & Petrillo, LLP do as well. Fortunately, New York state law is fairly clear on this issue.
Using marijuana for medical purposes
Healthcare practitioners recognize that marijuana does indeed have clinical applications. It can serve as an effective treatment for the symptoms of the following general conditions:
- Chronic pain
- Muscle spasms
- Eating disorders
The medical community also lists it as a potential treatment for specific illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease and glaucoma, as well as mental disorders like posttraumatic stress disorder. For these reasons, many states (including New York) do allow for its medical use.
Section 3362 of New York’s Public Health Code states that you can indeed lawfully possess marijuana if you are a certified patient or caregiver (designated by a state-issued registry card). You may possess no more than a 30-day supply at a time, and that which is in your possession must be in compliance with the dosage recommendations provided by whoever prescribed it for you and must remain in its original packaging.
Unlawful use of marijuana (even with a registry card)
Using marijuana for medical purposes is still highly regulated. You cannot use it in a public place even if you have a registry card. You can learn more about the legality of monitored drug use by continuing to browse through our site.