Welcome to our article on marijuana laws in New Mexico. If you’re wondering whether marijuana is legal in this state, you’ve come to the right place. In this section, we’ll give you a brief overview of New Mexico’s current marijuana laws so you can make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing, possessing, or using marijuana in the Land of Enchantment.
Recreational Marijuana in New Mexico
Recreational marijuana use is legal in New Mexico for adults aged 21 and over. The state officially legalized recreational use on April 12, 2021, making it the latest state to do so in the United States. Individuals are allowed to possess up to two ounces of marijuana outside of their residence and up to eight ounces inside their homes.
It is important to note that while recreational use is legal, there are still restrictions on where marijuana can be consumed. It is illegal to consume marijuana in public places, including parks, restaurants, and sidewalks. It can only be consumed in private residences or locations specifically designated for marijuana consumption.
Individuals who violate the state’s laws on recreational marijuana may face legal consequences. Possession of more than the legal amount, distribution without a permit, or driving under the influence of marijuana can result in penalties, including fines and imprisonment.
Buying Recreational Marijuana in New Mexico
Recreational marijuana can be purchased from a licensed dispensary in New Mexico. As of June 2021, adult-use cannabis sales have not yet begun, but regulations are expected to be in place by April 2022. Once sales begin, each person is allowed to buy up to two ounces of marijuana at a time.
It is important to note that while recreational marijuana use is legal in New Mexico, it is still illegal under federal law. Possession, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana on federal property or by entities receiving federal funding remains against the law.
Medical Marijuana in New Mexico
If you are a resident of New Mexico and suffer from a qualifying medical condition, you may be able to obtain medical marijuana legally. The program was established in 2007, and since then, it has undergone several updates.
To qualify for medical marijuana in New Mexico, you must have one of the following conditions:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Severe chronic pain
- Hepatitis C
- Inflammatory autoimmune-mediated arthritis
- Crohn’s disease
- Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord
- Any other medical condition approved by the Department of Health.
If you have been diagnosed with one of these conditions, you can apply for a medical marijuana card from the New Mexico Department of Health. The process involves filling out an application online or by mail, paying a fee, and providing medical documentation that supports your diagnosis.
Once you have received your medical marijuana card, you will be able to purchase up to eight ounces of cannabis every 90 days from a licensed dispensary. You can also grow up to six mature plants and six seedlings if you have a Personal Production License.
Limitations and Restrictions
Even if you have a medical marijuana card, there are still some restrictions on the use of cannabis in New Mexico. Smoking marijuana in public is illegal, and you can face a fine of up to $50 for a first offense. Additionally, you cannot grow marijuana if you live within a 300-foot radius of a school, daycare, or church.
It is important to note that federal law still prohibits the possession and use of marijuana, even for medical purposes. If you travel outside of New Mexico with your medical marijuana, you could face legal consequences in states where medical marijuana is not legal.
If you are unsure about any aspect of New Mexico’s medical marijuana program, it is recommended that you consult a legal professional or the state Department of Health for more information.
History of Marijuana Legalization in New Mexico
New Mexico has a long and complicated history with marijuana legalization. In 1978, the state became one of the first in the nation to recognize the medical benefits of marijuana and passed a law allowing patients with certain medical conditions to use and possess small amounts of the drug.
However, it wasn’t until 2007 that the state passed a law establishing a system for regulating medical marijuana dispensaries. Today, patients with qualifying conditions can obtain medical marijuana cards and purchase marijuana from licensed dispensaries throughout the state.
In recent years, there have been several attempts to legalize recreational marijuana in New Mexico. In 2019, a bill to legalize the drug made it through the state’s House of Representatives but failed to pass in the Senate. In 2021, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation legalizing adult-use recreational marijuana in the state, making New Mexico the 17th state in the US to do so.
The road to marijuana legalization in New Mexico has been a long and difficult one, but the state is finally moving forward with a comprehensive regulatory framework for both medical and recreational use. As public opinion continues to shift in favor of marijuana legalization, it remains to be seen what the future holds for the state of New Mexico.
Possession and Cultivation of Marijuana in New Mexico
Marijuana possession and cultivation laws in New Mexico are strict, and breaking them can lead to severe penalties.
As of April 2021, adult-use cannabis has been legalized in the state, but there are still limitations on how much marijuana you can possess at any given time. Adults 21 years and older can possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis, 16 grams of cannabis extract, or 800 milligrams of THC in edible form. Possession of more than the legal limit can result in a fine or imprisonment.
When it comes to cultivating marijuana, the laws are even more strict. Cultivating any amount of marijuana is considered a felony offense, and penalties can range from a year in prison and a $1,000 fine to 18 years in prison and a $15,000 fine, depending on the amount.
|Legal limit of 2 ounces of cannabis, 16 grams of cannabis extract, or 800 milligrams of THC in edible form for adults 21+
|Cultivating any amount is considered a felony offense with penalties ranging from 1 year in prison and a $1,000 fine to 18 years in prison and a $15,000 fine
It is important to note that possession and cultivation laws can vary based on whether the individual is a medical marijuana card holder. Patients with a medical marijuana card can possess up to 8 ounces of cannabis, and may be allowed to grow up to 16 plants for personal use. However, these individuals must still adhere to strict guidelines to avoid any violations.
It is crucial to stay informed about the latest laws and regulations regarding marijuana possession and cultivation in New Mexico to avoid any legal issues.
Dispensaries and Sales of Marijuana in New Mexico
Dispensaries and sales of marijuana are regulated by the state of New Mexico. As of 2021, there are currently 34 licensed dispensaries in the state, with more expected to open in the near future. These dispensaries are scattered throughout the state and are subject to strict regulations.
Under New Mexico law, marijuana can only be sold by licensed dispensaries. It is illegal to purchase marijuana from any other source, including other individuals or online retailers.
Dispensaries are required to follow strict rules on where they can be located. For example, they cannot be within 300 feet of a school or daycare center. They also must operate as non-profits and are subject to strict accounting and inventory regulations.
Marijuana products sold at dispensaries must be labeled with information about the strain, potency, and dosage. Dispensaries must also ensure that products are properly tested for contaminants and meet state-mandated standards.
While sales of marijuana are legal in New Mexico, there are still limitations. It is illegal to sell marijuana to anyone under the age of 21, and sales are subject to taxes and fees.
Marijuana and Driving in New Mexico
It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana in New Mexico, just like it is with alcohol. If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to suspect that you are driving under the influence of marijuana, they can ask you to take a blood test. If the test shows that you have a THC concentration of 5 nanograms or more per milliliter of blood, you can be arrested and charged with a DUI.
New Mexico has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21. If a driver under the age of 21 tests positive for any amount of THC, they will be arrested and charged with a DUI. A first offense could result in fines, community service, and the suspension of their driver’s license for up to one year.
It is also illegal to smoke or consume marijuana while operating a vehicle. Passengers are allowed to smoke or consume marijuana in a vehicle, but the driver cannot. If the driver is caught smoking or consuming marijuana while driving, they could face a fine and potential jail time.
Penalties for Marijuana DUI in New Mexico
|Driver’s License Suspension
|Up to $500
|Up to 96 hours
|Up to one year
|Up to 90 days
|Up to $1,000
|Up to 96 hours
|Two to three years
|Up to one year
|Third or Subsequent Offense
|Up to $1,000
|Up to 96 hours
|Three to five years
|Up to one year
Driving under the influence of marijuana is dangerous and illegal. Always designate a sober driver or use alternative forms of transportation if you plan on consuming marijuana.
Marijuana and Employment in New Mexico
If you’re a resident of New Mexico, it’s important to understand how marijuana legalization may impact your employment situation. While there are some protections in place for medical marijuana users, the use of marijuana can still have consequences in the workplace.
Can Employers Drug Test for Marijuana?
Yes, employers in New Mexico can drug test for marijuana as a condition of employment. While some states have implemented protections for recreational marijuana users, New Mexico has not yet followed suit. However, employers cannot discriminate against medical marijuana users who have a valid medical marijuana card.
Can Employees be Fired for Using Marijuana?
Yes, employees can be fired for using marijuana, even if it is legal. Employers have the right to establish their own drug policies and guidelines for their employees, as long as they do not violate discrimination laws.
Are There Protections for Medical Marijuana Users?
Yes, medical marijuana users in New Mexico have some protections in the workplace. Employers cannot discriminate against employees who are patients in the Medical Cannabis Program. However, employees who test positive for marijuana may still face consequences if their job involves safety-sensitive tasks or if their employer receives federal funding.
Are There Industries with Specific Regulations or Restrictions?
Yes, there are some industries in New Mexico with specific regulations or restrictions regarding marijuana use. Those working in transportation, healthcare, and education, for example, may face stricter guidelines and consequences for marijuana use.
Out-of-State Possession and Use of Marijuana in New Mexico
If you’re visiting New Mexico and wondering if you can legally use marijuana, the answer may not be straightforward. While the state allows for recreational and medical marijuana use for residents, the laws surrounding out-of-state possession and use of marijuana can be more complicated.
According to New Mexico cannabis laws, visitors to the state are not allowed to purchase or use marijuana without a valid medical marijuana card from another state. However, possession of small amounts of marijuana (up to one ounce) by those over the age of 21 is considered a petty misdemeanor, with a penalty of a $50 fine for the first offense. It is important to note that consumption of marijuana in public places, including parks, sidewalks, and bars, is strictly prohibited and can result in a fine of up to $100.
It’s also important to remember that marijuana laws can vary by state, and while possession may be legal in New Mexico, it may not be legal in your home state. It is advised to research and understand the laws pertaining to marijuana possession and use in both your home state and New Mexico before traveling with or using marijuana in the state.
Impact of Marijuana Legalization on New Mexico
Since the legalization of recreational marijuana in New Mexico, there have been several impacts on the state. One of the most significant impacts has been the potential for increased revenue and job opportunities. The cannabis industry has created new jobs in cultivation, production, and retail, and the state has the potential to gain millions of dollars in tax revenue.
However, there have also been concerns about the potential negative impacts of marijuana legalization. Some opponents argue that increased use could lead to an increase in crime rates or negative health effects. Others worry about the potential for young people to obtain and use marijuana more readily.
Despite these concerns, some studies suggest that legalization may actually decrease crime rates and have no significant impact on public health. Additionally, supporters of legalization argue that regulating and taxing marijuana could provide resources for education and prevention efforts.
As the state continues to navigate the impacts of marijuana legalization, it is important to consider both the potential benefits and drawbacks. While there may be challenges to overcome, legalization has the potential to greatly benefit New Mexico and its residents.
Future of Marijuana Legalization in New Mexico
While New Mexico has made significant strides in marijuana legalization, there is still much debate over whether the state should further expand its marijuana laws. As of now, legislators and advocacy groups are pushing for a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana statewide.
However, there are also concerns over the potential impact of further legalization on public health and safety. For example, opponents argue that increased access to marijuana could lead to an increase in addiction and impaired driving. Additionally, some worry about the impact on youth exposure to marijuana.
Despite these concerns, many residents are hopeful that further legalization will bring increased tax revenue and economic benefits to the state. That being said, it remains to be seen what the future holds for marijuana legalization in New Mexico.
FAQs about Marijuana Legalization in New Mexico
Here are some frequently asked questions about marijuana legalization in New Mexico:
Is Marijuana Legal in New Mexico?
Yes, marijuana is legal in New Mexico for both medical and recreational use.
How much marijuana can I possess in New Mexico?
Recreational users are allowed to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana, while medical marijuana patients can possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana over a 90-day period.
Can I grow my own marijuana in New Mexico?
Yes, both recreational and medical marijuana patients are allowed to grow their own marijuana in New Mexico. Recreational users can have up to 6 plants per person, with a maximum of 12 plants per household. Medical marijuana patients can have up to 16 plants, with a maximum of 4 mature plants.
Do I need a medical marijuana card to purchase marijuana in New Mexico?
No, a medical marijuana card is not required to purchase recreational marijuana in New Mexico. However, you do need to be 21 years or older and possess a valid government-issued ID.
How do I obtain a medical marijuana card in New Mexico?
To obtain a medical marijuana card in New Mexico, you must have a qualifying medical condition and get a recommendation from a licensed healthcare provider. You will also need to register with the New Mexico Department of Health and pay a fee.
Can I bring marijuana into New Mexico from out-of-state?
No, it is illegal to bring marijuana into New Mexico from out-of-state. Even if you are coming from a state where marijuana is legal, it is still illegal to bring it into New Mexico.
Can I consume marijuana in public in New Mexico?
No, it is illegal to consume marijuana in public places in New Mexico. This includes parks, sidewalks, and other public areas. Marijuana can only be consumed on private property with the owner’s permission.
Can I get fired from my job for using marijuana in New Mexico?
Employers in New Mexico have the right to drug test their employees and can terminate their employment for using marijuana, even if it is for medical purposes. However, medical marijuana patients have some protections under the law and should consult with an attorney if they are facing employment discrimination.
What are the penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana in New Mexico?
If you are caught driving under the influence of marijuana in New Mexico, you can face fines, jail time, and a suspended driver’s license. The penalties are similar to those for driving under the influence of alcohol.
These are just some of the most frequently asked questions about marijuana legalization in New Mexico. As laws and regulations continue to evolve, it’s important to stay informed and up to date with the latest developments.