Starting on December 1, 2018, the Office of the Albany County District Attorney will decline to prosecute cases solely involving simple possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, roughly equivalent to personal use, by declining to prosecute the charges of:


Unlawful Possession of Marijuana (Penal Law § 221.05, a Violation)  


Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the 5th Degree

 (Penal Law § 221.10, a Class B misdemeanor)

In addition, we will be seeking dismissals where appropriate for cases currently pending where these are the sole charges.

The sale and possession of marijuana is still illegal in New York.


The DA’s Office reserves the right to continue to prosecute all


other marijuana related offenses, including possession or


open use in a vehicle or in public, including incidents where


children may be present.




This policy has been developed after conducting a number of public meetings across the county in order to hear from the people we represent. In conjunction with the public meetings, we sought the opinion of residents via our website. The vast majority of our constituents indicated that they wanted to see a shift in the legal status of recreational adult use marijuana and in the enforcement of existing laws. Given the near certain impending changes in the law, and given the sea change in society’s views of the issue, it is no longer the best use of our resources to prosecute these low-level marijuana offenses.