New York is often on the cutting edge of change, but when it comes to marijuana, it is not too far ahead of the majority of states. According to The New York Times, marijuana is still very much illegal in that state except for a very strict medical marijuana law. This law is restricted to only 12 conditions that will qualify you for a medical marijuana card and it cannot be smoked or used in public. This is one of the toughest laws in the country.
When it comes to recreational marijuana, it is not legal in the state, but some areas have seen changes to their laws. In New York City, for example, using marijuana in public is no longer a criminal charge. It is a violation. What this means is that you will go to court and probably pay a fine, but once your court case is over, your record is sealed so nobody will ever know about what happened. Instead of arresting you, law enforcement will just issue you a ticket to show up in court on the assigned date. This took effect on September 1, 2018, in the city.
When it comes to the state as a whole, the Health Department has issued a statement urging lawmakers to fully legalize the drug. There is a move for full legalization among some legislatures as well. Currently, there are studies underway that it is hoped will provide enough evidence to show that marijuana should be legalized in the state. This information is for education and is not legal advice.