Possession of Marijuana Can Lead to Problems

New York is one of the 23 states in the country that have a medical marijuana program. It is also one of the 16 states that have decriminalized marijuana. On paper, the state of New York looks like a state that has relaxed drug laws that don’t incarcerate substance abusers. In actuality, despite being decriminalized, cannabis can still land users in jail. Furthermore, the state’s medical marijuana program is incredibly difficult to be accepted into.

New Yorkers who are convicted for possession of 25g or less of marijuana will pay a fine up to $100. If the person is convicted of a third offense, he or she could also face up to 15 days in jail. Additionally, being caught with paraphernalia such as a scale is enough to land you in jail for one year.

New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio has pledged to reduce the amount of arrests regarding marijuana in his city. While this is a step in the right direction, many citizens are critical of this strategy. Whether an individual is arrested or simply given a summons to appear in court, he or she is still at risk for being harshly penalized by virtue of marijuana possession.

Even though possession of marijuana under an ounce has been decriminalized, being caught possessing it can still cause you a lot of problems in the future. Current and prospective college students caught with a misdemeanor amount of marijuana could face having financial aid revoked, or being rendered ineligible for upcoming financial aid. In addition, it can cause a lot of problems with job opportunities, being accepted into college or university, and can even cause problems when finding a house or apartment to rent. Because of this, people who have been charged with possession of marijuana, no matter how low-level the violation is, need to contact a defense attorney before giving any statement to the police.

The harsh reality is that a marijuana conviction, no matter how petty the crime is in New York, can create a cycle of poverty difficulty. Even if jail time is not given to minor offenses, some citizens could struggle to pay the fines and penalties. In many cases, failure to pay fines and court fees results in jail time for the offender. To further complicate the matter, a marijuana conviction may leave you with a blemish on your record. This could have detrimental effects if you have planned on pursuing a career in government, law enforcement, or the military. In addition, many companies in the private sector have zero-tolerance policies regarding new employees with arrest records.

By working with a defense attorney, you might be able to have all charges stricken from your record. In addition, you could be able to have any fines and penalties reduced to community service if you can show that paying the fees will put you under undue hardship. Whether you have a misdemeanor, criminal, or felony case regarding marijuana, it is imperative that you consult an attorney before making any abrupt decisions.