New York City comptroller recommends legalization of marijuana
Recently, the New York City comptroller suggested that New York ought to follow in the path of other states and legalize the possession of small quantities of marijuana.
He made the recommendation after revealing that legalizing marijuana in New York would generate a significant amount of money – estimated at around $400 million each year. He suggested legalizing the possession of one ounce of marijuana or less. The comptroller indicated that legalizing this small amount of marijuana would also reduce costs for law enforcement by around $31 million annually. He has suggested that the funds earned by legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana could be used to lower tuition for higher education in New York.
Prior to the comptroller’s recommendation, the Drug Policy Alliance reported that there are more arrests for marijuana crimes in New York than anywhere else in the country.
Of course, the penalties for marijuana possession vary by state. Consequently, it is wise for individuals to be cognizant of the potential consequences for possession in their area.
Marijuana possession laws in New York
Currently, the penalties for marijuana possession in New York depend on the quantity of the substance found in the person’s possession and whether he or she has prior marijuana possession convictions.
The penalties are least severe for those found with less than 25 grams of marijuana. Upon a first such offense, the individual can be fined up to $100. For a third offense, the potential penalties rise to up to 15 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.
The consequences for marijuana possession in New York are more severe, however, if the person is charged with possession in public view. In such cases, he or she may face misdemeanor charges, with penalties including up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.
The most severe penalties are reserved for those found with over 10 pounds of marijuana. An individual can face felony charges for possession of over 10 pounds, and may be sentenced to up to 15 years in jail and a $250 fine.
Marijuana possession laws in Connecticut
In Connecticut, the penalties also vary depending on the quantity of the substance found and prior convictions.
If someone is charged for the first time with possession of less than 0.5 ounces of marijuana, he or she may be fined up to $150. The fine increases to a maximum of $500 for subsequent offenses.
The most severe consequences are reserved for those charged with possession of over four ounces of marijuana. In such cases, an individual may be sentenced to five years in jail and a $2,000 fine for a first offense and up to 10 years in jail and a $5,000 fine for subsequent offenses.
If you are facing marijuana possession charges in New York or Connecticut, seek the advice of a skilled criminal defense attorney to ensure a strong defense is established on your behalf.