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New York not up to speed on medical marijuana usage

| Feb 15, 2017 | Drug Charges |

For many years, patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments have used marijuana to help relieve the side effects. After your recent diagnosis, it seemed like a good idea to have something on standby to ease the nausea once you begin your treatments. Unfortunately, it was not in the cards. After you purchased a half-ounce of the drug, the police pulled you over for a minor traffic infraction, searched your vehicle, and arrested you for drug possession.

While a few states have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational, it still remains illegal in New York. The state classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug. This means that authorities consider it to have a high potential for abuse. Furthermore, the state does not recognize it as having any medicinal value.

Pay attention to laws that change over time

In 2014, things began to change when the governor announced a plan to allow very limited medical usage of the drug. Only 20 hospitals in the state would be allowed to prescribe it for patients diagnosed with cancer, glaucoma, and a few other diseases. However, it is still much harder to get a prescription than it is in states that have more lenient marijuana regulations.

In general, New York marijuana laws are very complex. An experienced criminal attorney can help you to understand what kind of penalties you could be facing and what your best defense is. Since you were caught with over 25 grams but less than two ounces, you could be looking at up to three months in jail and possibly a $500 fine.

As part of your defense, you attorney is going to examine the circumstances under which the police officers discovered the marijuana. For example, your lawyer will look closely at whether or not the officer has the requisite probable cause to search your car. Another part of the arrest process that your attorney will review is if the arresting officer properly informed you of your rights before you made any statements to the police.

Scrutinize what led up to your arrest

If it becomes apparent that the police stopped you with little or no cause and then performed an illegal search and seizure that led to your arrest, your lawyer will more than likely use this to prove that your rights were violated.

Since the state of New York takes drug possession very seriously, it is important that you understand your rights and options regarding the charges. Contact a local New York attorney experienced with drug crimes for help defending your case.

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