New Mexico Marijuana Laws

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Marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture are regulated by both state and federal law. In New Mexico, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, which means that it has a high potential for abuse and no generally recognized medical value. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-31-6.) However, despite being a Schedule I drug, New Mexico does allow medical marijuana use under limited circumstances. And while not covered in this article, it is also a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana in New Mexico.

To learn about New Mexico's medical marijuana laws, see New Mexico Medical Marijuana Laws.

For information about charges and penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana in New Mexico, see Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in New Mexico.

Marijuana Possession

It is a crime to knowingly or intentionally possess marijuana (including small amounts for personal use) in New Mexico. Penalties vary according to the amount possessed, and whether the offense was a first or subsequent violation. Penalties increase if the violation occurs within a posted drug-free school zone. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-31-23.)

  • Up to one ounce. Penalties for a first offense include a fine between $50 and $100, up to 15 days in jail, or both. A second or subsequent offense carries a fine of between $100 and $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both. For first violations in a school zone, penalties increase to a fine of between $100 and $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both. For  second offenses in a school zone, penalties increase to a fine of up to $5,000, up to 18 months in prison, or both.
  • Between one and eight ounces. Penalties include a fine of between $100 and $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both. For violations in a school zone, penalties increase to a fine of up to $5,000, up to 18 months in prison, or both.
  • Eight ounces or more. Penalties include a fine of up to $5,000, up to 18 months in prison, or both. For violations in a school zone, penalties include a fine of up to $5,000, up to three years in prison, or both.

Sale and Trafficking

Selling or trafficking marijuana (manufacturing or possessing marijuana with the intent to sell it) in New Mexico is illegal. Violations are penalized according to the amount possessed, manufactured, sold, or brought into state; and whether the violation was a first of subsequent offense, with additional penalties for sales to a minor. (N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 30-31-22 &30-31-20.)

  • Distributing a small amount of marijuana without compensation. Penalties for a first offense include a fine between $50 and $100, up to 15 days in jail, or both. A second or subsequent offense carries a fine of between $100 and $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
  • Up to 100 pounds. Penalties for a first offense include a fine of up to $5,000, up to 18 months in prison, or both. A second or subsequent offense carries a fine of up to $5,000, up to three years in prison, or both.
  • 100 pounds or more. Penalties for a first offense include a fine of up to $5,000, up to three years in prison, or both. A second or subsequent offense carries a fine of up to $10,000, up to nine years in prison, or both.
  • Up to 100 pounds within a school zone. Penalties for a first offense include a fine of up to $5,000, up to three years in prison, or both. A second or subsequent offense carries a fine of up to $10,000, up to nine years in prison, or both.
  • 100 pounds or more within a school zone. Penalties for a first offense include a fine of up to $10,000, up to nine years in prison, or both. A second or subsequent offense carries a fine of up to $15,000, up to 18 years in prison, or both.
  • Sales to a minor. Penalties for a first offense include a fine of up to $5,000, up to three years in prison, or both. A second or subsequent offense carries a fine of up to $10,000, up to nine years in prison, or both. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-31-21.)

Drug Paraphernalia

It is illegal in New Mexico to manufacture, sell, or use drug paraphernalia (or possess paraphernalia with the intent to do so). Paraphernalia includes items used in growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana. Penalties vary according to the violation, with harsher penalties for sales to a minor. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-31-25.1.)

Possession and use

Using paraphernalia (or possessing it with the intent to do so) is a misdemeanor. Penalties include a fine between $50 and $100, up to one year in jail, or both.

Manufacture and sale

Selling paraphernalia (or manufacturing or possessing it with the intent to do so), is a misdemeanor. Penalties include a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both.

Sale to a minor

Someone who sells paraphernalia to a minor who is at least three years younger than the seller, is guilty of a felony. Penalties include a fine of up to $5,000, up to 18 months in prison, or both.

The Value of Local Legal Representation

If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. While the penalties and consequences of a marijuana charge are governed by statutory law, only a local criminal defense attorney can tell you how cases like yours tend to be handled by prosecutors and judges in your courthouse.

by: , Contributing Author

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