New Mexico Marijuana Laws

New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment and it is pretty enchanting to know that its marijuana laws are some of the least harsh in the country.  However, residents should still read up on the paraphernalia laws in order to avoid penalties of any kind.

New Mexico Marijuana Attorneys

The following New Mexico lawyers are actively involved in the practice of cannabis law:

NewMexico_newmexicocriminallaw
NewMexico_collinsattorneys

LAW BREAKDOWN

Medical marijuana is legal in New Mexico, but any other possession, sale, distribution, cultivation, or manufacture of the drug is prohibited by criminal law. Penalties are relatively forgiving, but the state has not yet decriminalized cannabis.

Possession

Any possession of marijuana is illegal in New Mexico unless covered by medical cannabis laws. It is a misdemeanor to possess 1 ounce or less, punishable by a maximum penalty of 15 days in jail and $100 in fines on a first offense. On a repeat offense, the top penalty increases to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines.

Possession of between 1 and 8 ounces is also a misdemeanor and is punishable by as much as one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. Possessing more than 8 ounces, meanwhile, is a felony and has a maximum punishment of 18 months in prison and $5,000.

Sale or Distribution

Sale, distribution, and possession with intent to distribute outside New Mexico’s medical marijuana system are treated the same as possession when nothing else of value changes hands. That means the top penalty for 1 ounce or less is 15 days in jail and $100 in fines on a first offense, while the maximum for a subsequent conviction is one year and $1,000.

Without remuneration, the sale, distribution, or possession with intent of 1-8 ounces is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. Where the weight is more than 8 ounces, the top punishment is 18 months in prison and $5,000.

If money or other valuable things change hands as compensation for the cannabis, any sale, distribution, or possession with intent is considered a felony. If the weight is less than 100 pounds, the maximum is 18 months in prison and $5,000 in fines. On a second conviction, the same crime is punishable by up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Sale, distribution, or possession with intent of more than 100 pounds carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $5,000 fine on a first offense. With subsequent convictions, the penalty rises to as many as nine years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Sale, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute any amount of marijuana to a minor is also a felony in New Mexico and comes with a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $5,000 fine. With subsequent offenses, the top punishment is nine years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Finally, any sale, distribution, or possession with intent inside a drug-free school zone is a felony punishable by up to 18 years in prison and $15,000 in fines.

Cultivation

It is similarly a felony to grow any amount of cannabis outside New Mexico’s medical marijuana system. On a first conviction, the top penalty is nine years in prison and $10,000 in fines. On a second offense, the punishment rises to a maximum of 18 years in prison and $15,000 in fines.

Finally, any cultivation of the drug within a drug-free school zone carries a top sentence of 18 years in prison and $15,000.

Hash and Concentrates

Hashish, hash oil, and other marijuana concentrates are treated more harshly than regular cannabis under New Mexico law. Possession of any amount is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. Sale, distribution, or possession with intent is a felony with a top penalty of three years in prison and $5,000.

Paraphernalia

Cannabis paraphernalia, including any items used in the cultivation, harvesting, processing, testing, analysis and consumption of marijuana, is also banned under state law.

Possession and use. Possession of any drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, unless the items are intended and used only for legal purposes, and the penalty is up to one year in jail and between $50 and $100 in fines.

Manufacture and sale. Selling marijuana paraphernalia, or possessing with intent to sell it, is a misdemeanor punishable by up to $1,000 and a year in jail.

Sale to a minor. Distribution of paraphernalia to a minor, who is at least three years younger than the seller, is guilty of a felony. Maximum penalties include a fine of $5,000, 18 months in prison, or both.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

New Mexico removed state-level criminal penalties for the use and possession of marijuana by qualifying patients with debilitating conditions in 2007.

Qualifying conditions – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Anorexia/Cachexia, Arthritis, Cancer, Cervical dystonia, Chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, Hospice patients, Huntingdon’s disease, intractable nausea/vomiting, Multiple Sclerosis, painful peripheral neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Spinal Cord Damage

Patient possession limits – Six ounces (more if authorized by physician)

Home cultivation – Yes. 16 plants (no more than four mature at once)

State-licensed dispensaries – Yes

Caregivers – Yes. A primary caregiver is a person responsible for the well-being of a qualifying patient with respect to their use of marijuana. Primary caregivers must be residents of New Mexico and must be at least 18 years of age.

Reciprocity – No

Contact informationNew Mexico Department of Health

PENALTIES

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine

Possession

1 oz or less (first offense) Misdemeanor 15 days $ 100
1 oz or less (second offense) Misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000
More than 1 – less than 8 oz Misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000
8 oz or more Felony 1.5 years $ 5,000

Distribution

100 lbs or less (first offense) Felony 1.5 years $ 5,000
Less than 100 lbs or less (second offense) Felony 3 years $ 5,000
100 lbs or more (first offense) Felony 3 years $ 5,000
100 lbs or more (second offense) Felony 9 years $ 10,000
To a minor (first offense) Felony 3 years $ 5,000
To a minor (second offense) Felony 9 years $ 10,000
Within a drug-free school zone Felony 18 years $ 15,000
Includes possession with the intent to distribute
If no payment, exchange of small amount of marijuana is treated as possession only.

Cultivation

Any amount (first offense) Felony 9 years $ 10,000
Any amount (second offense) Felony 18 years $ 15,000
Within a drug-free school zone Felony 18 years $ 15,000

Hash & Concentrates

Possession Misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000
Distributing or possessing with intent to distribute Felony 3 years $ 5,000
Subsequent convictions or within 1,000 feet of non-secondary school carries increased incarceration and fines.

Paraphernalia

Possession or distribution of paraphernalia Misdemeanor 1 year $ 100
Distribution of paraphernalia to a minor Felony 1.5 years $ 5,000

Miscellaneous

If a person who is 15 years or older is found delinquent of violating the Controlled Substances Act, their license may revoked.