SWAT teams from across the Capital Region raided a number of homes earlier this month as part of a lengthy drug investigation. The raids resulted in arrests and the seizure of cocaine, cash, surveillance equipment, drug paraphernalia, ad 6.5 pounds of marijuana.
FBI, state police, Colonie PD, Rensselaer PD, Saratoga County and Rensselaer County Sheriff's Departments teams participated in the drug raids. 10 individuals were arrested in the raids, including 9 who were arrested on marijuana charges.
New York Marijuana Possession Laws
Although medical marijuana is now legal in New York, recreational marijuana is not. Marijuana (or “marihuana” as it is spelled in the Laws of New York) is considered a Schedule 1 drug. This is the same classification as cocaine and heroin.
Marijuana penalties can range from a $100 fine up to long prison sentences, depending on the quantity of marijuana, what the individual was planning to do with it and the individual's prior criminal record.
Possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana is considered “unlawful possession,” and it is usually punishable by a $100 fine for first-time offenders. This is a civil, rather than a criminal offense. Fines increase with each subsequent offense.
Possession of more than 25 grams of marijuana is a criminal offense. Individuals may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the amount of marijuana in their possession. Possession of more than 8 ounces of marijuana is a felony.
Misdemeanor and felony convictions can result in jail time, fines or both. Penalties may be significantly higher if the convicted individual has a prior criminal record or is convicted of selling marijuana (rather than simply possessing it).
New York Medical Marijuana Laws
Medical marijuana is strictly regulated in New York. Patients seeking to obtain medical marijuana, medical professionals who issue certifications for medical marijuana, and the organizations that manufacture or dispense medical marijuana must register with the state and comply with specific state regulations.
Only patients with severe or debilitating conditions such as cancer, Parkinson's disease or chronic pain are eligible to obtain medical marijuana in New York. The amount and form of marijuana is prescribed by a medical professional, and patients may only purchase a 30-day supply.
Medical marijuana is only available in liquid, oil or capsule form. Smokable and edible medical marijuana products are prohibited.
Do You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Even a misdemeanor drug conviction can have serious long-term consequences, above and beyond the financial and legal repercussions. A criminal record can affect your future job prospects, education, housing, and relationships. If you have been arrested on marijuana or other drug charges, you need an experienced criminal attorney to defend you.
At Frost & Kavanaugh, we understand that your future is at stake when you face drug charges, and we have the experience to help you fight for your rights in a drug case. Contact Frost & Kavanaugh to learn how we can help.