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What Are the Penalties for Selling or Possessing Marijuana in New York City?

September 26, 2014 New York Lawyers

Under New York law, marijuana possession and sale are illegal in New York City. In addition, using marijuana in public and possessing marijuana that is open to be viewed by the public are illegal. Penalties for breaking marijuana laws in New York City vary greatly depending on how much marijuana is involved and if it’s being sold.

If a person in New York is found to be in the possession of marijuana, and it’s less than 25 grams, for the first and second offenses, the only punishment is a fine of $100 or $200. For the third offense, the individual could face 5 days in jail and a $250 fine. If the amount possessed is larger than 25 grams, the penalties increase sharply.

For possession of between 25 grams and two ounces of marijuana, the penalty is a $250 fine and possible three months in jail. If a person is found to be in possession of between two and eight ounces, he or she could face a year in jail and a $250 fine. Possession of over eight ounces but under ten pounds is a felony and could result in between four and seven years in prison and a $250 fine. Possession of more than 10 pounds is a felony with a 15 year prison sentence and a $250 fine.

Selling marijuana is considered a more serious offense than possession of marijuana. Selling less than two grams can result in a three month jail term. Selling between 25 grams and over a pound will result in fines and a prison sentence, which can range from four years to 15 years. Using a child to assist in the sale, or selling marijuana to a minor is considered a serious offense and can result in four to seven years in prison. Trafficking in marijuana is the most serious marijuana-related offense, and has a mandatory prison sentence of 15 to 25 years. Growing marijuana and possession of hash and concentrates can also result in fines and prison sentences.

To some people, marijuana-related crimes may not seem like a big deal. However, they are a big deal. Most marijuana crimes are either misdemeanors or felonies that can result in significant prison time and large fines. A criminal record can hurt your ability to obtain employment in the future and can damage relationships.

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