Many states are loosening their marijuana laws. Although Federal law lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug, a number of states have legalized medical and recreational marijuana. This article gives a basic overview of New Mexico’s marijuana laws.
Marijuana Laws in New Mexico
Adults who are 21 or older may possess small amounts of marijuana. Unauthorized marijuana possession and sales are still prohibited in New Mexico, with penalties depending on the amount of pot involved, the location of the sale, and the criminal history of the seller. New Mexico does allow patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions to use marijuana to alleviate symptoms. New Mexico’s marijuana statutes are highlighted below.
The Cannabis Regulation Act (HB 2)
- Up to 2oz and up to 6 mature marijuana plants and 6 immature plants: Legal for those 21 or older.
- Possession for people under 21: Civil violation subject to a 4-hour drug education program or 4 hours of community service.
- 1-8 oz.: misdemeanor, 1 yr. and $100-$1000;
- Over 8 oz.: 4th degree felony;
Subsequent offense: Under 1 oz.: misdemeanor, 1 yr., $100-$1000
Exceptions: A qualified patient or patient’s caregiver shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner for the possession of or the medical use of cannabis if the quantity of cannabis does not exceed an adequate supply.
4th degree felony;
If over 100 lbs., 3rd degree felony;
Subsequent offense: 3rd degree felony;
If over 100 lbs.: 2nd degree felony;
Higher penalties if in drug-free school zone
While New Mexico regulates pot within the state, the federal government also restricts marijuana possession, sale, and trafficking by way of the Controlled Substance Act. So if the thought of sneaking to Colorado to circumvent New Mexico’s marijuana ban had crossed your mind, you should be aware that even if one state’s marijuana laws say it’s legal, federal law always trumps state law and applies to interstate commerce. While federal law enforcement agencies have mostly left in-state marijuana cases to in-state authorities, the federal government may still enforce prohibitions on interstate cases of pot possession, manufacturing and cultivation and trafficking and distribution.
More Resources for New Mexico Marijuana Laws
As noted above, drug laws can be complex and are subject to change. For additional articles and resources on this topic you can visit FindLaw's section on Drug Charges. If you would like legal assistance with a drug matter, you can consult with a New Mexico drug crime attorney. And if you or someone you know may have a drug or substance abuse problem, New Mexico’s Office of Substance Abuse Prevention has resources that can help.