Each state has its own laws regarding marijuana possession, use and distribution, and in New York, possession is decriminalized. However, decriminalization does not mean that you are allowed to have any amount anywhere, at any time. You can still be penalized for possession of even a small amount, and sale is still a major offense.


According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the possession of any amount of marijuana less than 25 grams is not classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, however the fine can range from $100-$200, depending on your number of prior offenses. If you are found in possession of more than eight ounces, you could be charged with a felony punishable with a fine of thousands of dollars and potential prison time, while anything between eight ounces and 25 grams is a misdemeanor, with a smaller fine and possible jail time. You should also be aware that having marijuana in public view is a misdemeanor offense that can lead to up to 90 days of incarceration.

Sale and Trafficking

The trafficking of marijuana, which involves directing an organization that has sold $75,000 worth of the drug within the span of a year, is still a very serious felony offense, and if you are found guilty, the mandatory minimum jail or prison sentence is 15 years. Sale of smaller amounts ranges from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the quantity.

This content is intended to inform you about marijuana penalties in New York, and should not be taken as legal advice.