The Kessler Law Firm

Legalized Cannabis

According to The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee website, The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (Chapter 92 of the Laws of 2021) was chaptered into law on March 31, 2021. The Act legalized the adult-use of cannabis and established the Office of Cannabis Management to implement a comprehensive regulatory framework to cover medical, adult-use, and cannabinoid hemp programs. 

To learn more about the Office of Cannabis Management, please visit the Office of Cannabis Management website.

Are there any changes to the rules of the road?

Under the new legislation, driving under the influence of cannabis is prohibited, just as it is today. 

The law prohibits:

  1. The possession or consumption of open containers of alcoholic beverages in a vehicle remains illegal. Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) § 1227 (1).
  2. The burning of cannabis by anyone in a vehicle is also illegal under the open container law.   VTL § 1227 (1)

Any driver or passenger engaged in a violation of the open container law will be charged with a traffic infraction.

Impaired driving under the influence of Cannabis continues to be a misdemeanor under VTL § 1192. See additional information on penalties associated with impaired driving

Detecting Drug Impairment

New York State’s Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) will be coordinating with the Office of Cannabis Management, the State Police, and other law enforcement partners to continue to conduct Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Training and Advanced Roadside Impaired Driver Enforcement (ARIDE) Training.

GTSC is the entity responsible for the implementation and management of the DRE and ARIDE Programs. See information about ARIDE and the DRE programs.