OSWEGO – You can smoke it, but you can’t buy it. You can grow it, but you can’t plant it. It’s legal, but don’t do it and drive. If you have some now, it’s from an illegal purchase, though in small quantities under three ounces, you probably won’t be prosecuted. Don’t sell it. You’ll need a license, and those aren’t available. Don’t plan on buying some in a state where it’s legal and bringing it back to New York. That’s a violation of interstate trade, a serious federal violation. And, oh yeah, be 21 or over. Still illegal otherwise.
It’s New York’s new marijuana legalization.
It could be a year before you see a legal dispensary. It could be quite a while longer than that before you can plant your own. If you posses a medical marijuana card you can grow it six months after the law took effect (March 31). Without the card, you’ll have to wait 18 months after adult-use dispensaries open. And you’re limited to growing six plants, three mature and three immature.
You’ll be able to smoke it anywhere you are allowed to smoke cigarettes. Smoke at a park, a pool, or a beach though, and you may end up with a fine.
And if you were ever convicted of a marijuana crime, your record may be expunged, depending on the crime. This could take up to two years to accomplish.
And then there’s the last snafu. Municipalities within the state may opt out of considering marijuana dispensaries legal in any way other than medicinal.
So, what about Oswego? Here’s Mayor William Barlow’s take on dispensaries within the city.
“The zoning code we passed a few years ago articulates where dispensaries can and can’t go,” he said recently. “Dispensaries will be allowed in our commercial areas like shopping plazas on the far east side of town. I thought the decriminalization of marijuana was a fair balance, stopping just shy of full legalization. The law passed by New York state really allows people to grow and possess excessive amounts of marijuana, in my opinion, and doesn’t address some issues we’ll run into with law enforcement and the Oswego Police Department. That being said, if we were to opt out of allowing dispensaries and sale, we’d be losing out on perhaps the only major benefit from the full legalization of marijuana, that being revenue, so we won’t be opting out and we have already addressed where these dispensaries can and can’t go.”