Simply put, no.
For individuals without a state-granted medicinal marijuana card, possessing pot, and use are prohibited both in New York State and New York City.
In the city, possession has been liberalized— but not sanctioned. Having up to 25 grams of pot can produce a $100 ticket for a first infraction. The second time around, the prize is a $200 penalty. Go for the third time, and the sanction jumps to $250 and a possibility of spending 15-days in jail.
“Burning” — public use — is a misdemeanor which brings a $250 hit and up to 90-days behind bars.
If you’re white with a tiny amount of pot, you probably won’t have any difficulties. If you’re any other shade, the story changes.
The growing and selling of marijuana has generated billions in the nine states where it is legal — but it is an industry that is overwhelmingly white.
Yes. The disparity is offensive and outrageous, but it’s a fact.
How Do New Yorkers Get Their Pot?
Same as they always did. Despite New York State licensing both clients and clinics, pot offerings are illicit for non-medical marijuana patients. There are thousands of persons working in the illegal pot market.
It’s not unheard of, for instance, for a bicycle livery person to sell an “eighth” for $50.
Jerome ran a bicycle delivery service out of his Lower East Side apartment for years. His clients included well-known corporate types who worked in media and the financial industries. Among his clientele it was an open secret Jerome was also selling pot. He moved pounds of the stuff.
When he was busted, it wasn’t for shoveling around lots of marijuana, but for hawking a single joint to a buddy in the street. His carelessness cost him, and he was caught. But, Jerome is a white guy with a flashy criminal defense lawyer in a Ralph Lauren suit, so he circumvented the charges and walked out of court with a $100 fine.
Legal Pot Supports 150,000 New Yorkers
A new report shows 150,000 Americans are working in the pot industry.
New York took a cocky step in the late 1970s when it passed the Oliveri Statute which authorized a plan to fund a study into the medical use of cannabis. Politicians’ interference undercut the program and left it without funding.
In 2014, New York crafted the Compassionate Care Act which, at first, had hardly any physicians, patients or products.
State officials made changes in 2017. They expanded and improved entree to medical marijuana. New York City attached restricting infirmities like persistent pain and PTSD as well as made it simpler for doctors to get licensed to certify patients. The city also awarded five permits to produce and distribute medical marijuana. The state still does not allow dispensaries to sell cannabis flower — just edibles, tinctures, and a few other modes are allowed.
In Governor Cuomo’s executive budget speech on January 16, the called for a state-funded study on marijuana’s impact in the health, economic and criminal justice arenas. The study will also look at the possible effect of legalization in the states surrounding New York. Calling for more research was bold — twenty-years ago. Today it is a stalling tactic.
When politicos don’t want to deal with marijuana legalization, they emerge as advocates for science and research.