Sunday, September 11, 2005

Possession of marijuana -- unlawful or criminal

Note: Our office handles marijuana possession cases.
I appeared with a young client this week who was charged with Criminal Possession of Marijuana (CPM). In NY, 25 grams or less is unlawful possession of marijuana (UPM), a violation. This client had 29 grams, which makes it a misdemeanor -- a crime. 29 grams is about an ounce.

With UPM, it's common to get the charge resolved with an ACOD - adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. There's a specific statute authorizing ACODs for UPM. But this client was 4 grams over that. You hope for a sensible DA who will agree to resolve the CPM with an ACOD. Unfortunately it can be tough to find sensible DAs.

In this case we resolved it with a Disorderly Conduct (DisCon) violation. Client paid a fine of about $200. At least he has no crime on his record, and no drug charge to affect financial aid.
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