New York Penal Law defines almost all drug offenses in Article 220. The only drug that is not found in article 220 of the Penal Law is marihuana, which is found in Penal Law Article 221. See our Marihuana FAQ tab for more information on that specific drug.

Drug Crimes are broken down into two main categories: possession and sale. Generally speaking, selling a drug is more serious than possession. However, it is important to note that if you possess certain amounts of drugs, the law may presume that you are possessing the drug with the intent to sell it. These possession cases can sometimes be just as serious as actual sales.

Possession and sale crimes are broken into two more categories: type of drug and amount. New York classifies controlled substances into broader categories including:

  • Narcotics
  • Narcotic Preparations
  • Hallucinogens
  • Stimulants
  • Depressants
  • Methamphetamine
  • Marihuana

All fall under the broad category of “controlled substances”. All drugs listed in Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V of New York Public Health Law §3306 are controlled substances, except for marihuana, but including concentrated cannabis.