New Mexico, known as the Land of Enchantment, has relatively relaxed marijuana laws. Medical marijuana use and cultivation is allowed in the state, but recreational use remains illegal. Some local municipalities, including Albuquerque and Santa Fe, have decriminalized possession of small amounts.
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, and some municipalities have decriminalized low-level possession.
Any possession of marijuana is illegal in New Mexico unless covered by medical cannabis laws. It is a misdemeanor to possess one 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 one and eight ounces is also a misdemeanor and is punishable by as much as one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. Possessing more than eight 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 one 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 between one and eight 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.
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.
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 $5,000, 18 months in prison, or both.
New Mexico removed state-level criminal penalties for the use and possession of marijuana by qualifying patients with debilitating conditions in 2007.
Qualifying conditions –
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Cervical dystonia
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Hospice patients
- Huntington’s disease
- Intractable nausea/vomiting
- Multiple sclerosis
- Painful peripheral neuropathy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Spinal cord damage
Patient possession limits – Eight ounces (over a 90-day period)
Home cultivation – Yes. 16 plants (no more than four mature at once)
State-licensed dispensaries – Yes
Caregivers – Yes. A primary caregiver is a person responsible for the well-being of a qualifying patient with respect to their use of marijuana. Primary caregivers must be residents of New Mexico and must be at least 18 years of age.
Reciprocity – No
|1 oz or less (first offense)||Misdemeanor||15 days||$ 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|
|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.|
|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.|
|Possession or distribution of paraphernalia||Misdemeanor||1 year||$ 100|
|Distribution of paraphernalia to a minor||Felony||1.5 years||$ 5,000|
|If a person who is 15 years or older is found delinquent of violating the Controlled Substances Act, their license may revoked.|