Not Just Parking Tickets: Marijuana Possession Equal to Hopping Turnstiles and More

New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton holds up a bag of oregano to demonstrate what 25 grams of marijuana looks like at a news conference to announce changes to New York's marijuana policy.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton holds up a bag of oregano to demonstrate what 25 grams of marijuana looks like at a news conference to announce changes to New York’s marijuana policy. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Photo: Spencer Platt for Getty Images

As the Observer previously reported, New Yorkers will not necessarily be arrested for low-level marijuana offenses anymore. Instead they’ll be given a summons, and likely, a fine. The fine, writes the Daily News, will be $100 for a first time offender, and $250 for a second timer.

Low-level is defined as 25 grams or less, which is about .88 of an ounce, or as police commissioner Bill Bratton visualized, the equivalent of a nearly full Ziploc bag of oregano. If you needed a more vivid description: New York Magazine writes that’s the equivalent of $300 worth of marijuana and the Daily News calls that enough for 60 joints.

Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins told the paper, “Basically, what he’s doing is equating (the possession of) an illegal substance to a parking ticket.”

Actually, most parking tickets cost the violator $115, slightly more than the new first-offense fine for marijuana possession.

So, in case you were wondering, here are several other offenses that warrant a fine equivalent to low-level marijuana possession.

Traffic

As Mr. Mullins already alluded to, the new fine for marijuana possession is close to the cost of the average parking ticket. According to the city’s Department of Finance, $115 tickets can be received for idling in restricted areas, blocking the box, and 55 other potential violations.

The Department of Transportation says that most of the same laws that apply to vehicles, apply to cyclists. The most common is for running a red light, which WNYC wrote can cost up to $270 if caught by an officer.

Subways

According to the MTA’s Transit Adjudication Bureau website, the majority of subway related fines are less than a hundred dollars. A $75 fine can be issued for carrying long objects, or a $50 fine can be issued for blocking of seats–bad news for the cardboard subway artist.

Fines of $100 dollars can be issued for hopping the turnstile, obstructing the movement of the train, vandalism, or carrying weapons (perhaps the last one deserves a heftier fine).

Parks

The New York City Parks Department has an exhaustive list of potential fines, ranging from $50 to $1,000. Those in the hundred range include: littering, spitting on park monuments or structures, unauthorized distribution of products, unleashed animals, or “minor tree abuse.”

Sanitation

The New York Department of Sanitation compiled a 50-page booklet on its fines and regulations. But worry not, most sanitation violations seem to fall in the $25 range, for things like commercial institutions failing to properly separate recyclables.

However, you can be fined $100 for failing to clean backyards, alleyways, sidewalks, and gutters; not shoveling the sidewalk when it snows, shaking out dusty rugs, failing to use proper, covered receptacles, or improper syringe disposal. Not Just Parking Tickets: Marijuana Possession Equal to Hopping Turnstiles and More