Earlier this week, New York became the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the cannabis legislation on March 31. Certain parts of the law went into effect immediately, NY Times reports.
Adults (21 and over) can have up to three ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of concentrated forms, like oils. New Yorkers can smoke cannabis in public areas where you can smoke tobacco. A new NYPD memorandum says NYPD can’t search a vehicle based on the scent of weed alone. Cops can only search a car if a driver appears to be under the influence of marijuana. There has to be probable cause to believe that a driver was smoking or vaping while operating a vehicle. The report also says police can’t search the trunk unless the officer has a separate probable cause to believe the trunk contains evidence of a crime.
If the NYPD sees a hand to hand exchange of 3 ounces or less of marijuana to a person over 21 years old, they can’t charge an individual, unless they see money being offered. Officers aren’t allowed to “approach, stop or detain a parolee based on their use or possession of lawful amounts of marijuana unless the terms of their parole specifically prohibit it,” according to the memo.
Weed smokers can’t smoke weed in schools, workplaces, or inside a car. Driving while smoking weed and the sale of it are still illegal. New York City banned smoking in parks, beaches, boardwalks, pedestrian plazas, and playgrounds, where tobacco smoking is banned.
NY will reportedly quickly become one of the largest markets of legal cannabis in the nation. The law will allow people with past convictions and those “involved in the illicit cannabis market to participate in the new legal market.”