Criminal diversion of medical marijuana is the act of improperly authorizing a medical marijuana certification to someone who doesn’t meet the necessary criteria or transferring medical marijuana to an individual who isn’t eligible to receive it. In New York, there are three distinct offenses in the criminal code that pertain to the criminal diversion of medical marijuana.
According to New York Penal Law § 179.10, if you are a practitioner and you knowingly issue a medical marijuana certification to a patient who doesn’t genuinely require it for medical purposes or if the certification is intended for purposes other than treating a severe medical condition, you could face prosecution for criminal diversion of medical marijuana in the first degree. A practitioner, as defined by New York Public Health Law § 3360, refers to a licensed physician in the State of New York who is qualified to address serious medical conditions and has successfully completed the necessary coursework.
Criminal diversion of medical marijuana in the first degree constitutes a Class E felony. Upon conviction, potential penalties encompass a maximum prison term of 4 years, a probationary period lasting up to 5 years, and the possibility of fines.
The criminal diversion of marijuana statute does not pertain to individuals who fall into any of the following categories:
- Practitioners authorized to issue certifications who have acted in good faith within the legal scope of their profession.
- Pharmacists operating a legitimate pharmacy.
- Individuals seeking treatment for a medical condition or aiding another person in obtaining medical treatment for a medical condition.
- Criminal diversion of medical marihuana in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 179.11
- Criminal retention of medical marihuana: New York Penal Law § 179.15
New York Penal Law § 179.10: Criminal Diversion of Medical Marihuana in the First Degree
An individual commits the offense of criminal diversion of medical marijuana in the first degree when they qualify as a practitioner, as defined in subdivision twelve of section thirty-three hundred sixty of the public health law, and knowingly issue a certification under circumstances where they have reasonable grounds to believe that either (i) the recipient lacks a genuine medical necessity for it, or (ii) it is intended for a purpose other than the treatment of a serious condition as outlined in subdivision seven of section thirty-three hundred sixty of the public health law.
Hiring a New York Lawyer for Criminal Diversion of Medical Marihuana in the First Degree Case
Hiring a New York lawyer for a Criminal Diversion of Medical Marijuana in the First Degree case is paramount. This serious offense involves unlawfully distributing medical marijuana, potentially resulting in severe consequences. A skilled attorney with expertise in New York’s complex legal landscape can provide invaluable guidance. They will meticulously assess evidence, challenge the prosecution’s case, and explore potential defenses. Moreover, a seasoned lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors to reduce charges or seek alternative sentencing options. Given the potentially life-altering repercussions, securing a competent New York lawyer is the first step in safeguarding your rights and navigating the intricacies of this legal matter effectively.