NY Bill Would Require Minors and Their Parents to Take Diversion Program When Caught With Marijuana

Legislation filed today in the New York Assembly would require minors caught using and/or possessing marijuana, as well as their parents, to attend a cannabis diversion program.

Under current New York law, recreational marijuana is legal for everyone 21 and older. Although it remains unlawful for those under 21 to possess and use the plant, the current penalty is a simple $50 civil infraction. Legislation filed today by Assemblymember Keith Brown would change that.

Assembly Bill 7951, which has been referred to the Assembly Codes Committee, states:

The office of cannabis management shall contact the parents and/or guardians of such person and inform them of the person’s violations of this chapter. Such person and the parents and/or guardians of such person shall be required to attend a cannabis diversion program established by the office of cannabis management to assess for substance use disorders.

This act “shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized to be made and completed on or before such effective date.”

The measure will need to be passed through several committees before it can be voted on by the full Assembly and send to the Senate.

Also today, a New York judge on Friday blocked the state’s retail marijuana licensing program after a group of veterans sued over rules that allowed people with drug convictions to open the first dispensaries.

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