New Mexico allows medical marijuana use under limited circumstances. However, it is still a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana, and other laws regarding marijuana possession for non-medical purposes will still apply.
For information about how New Mexico treats illegal marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture, see New Mexico Marijuana Laws.
For information on driving under the influence charges in New Mexico, see Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in New Mexico.
Medical Marijuana Use
Under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act of 2007, New Mexico allows medical marijuana use by patients with a variety of debilitating illnesses and symptoms. This law removes the criminal penalties that would otherwise apply to nonmedical marijuana possession and use. To gain such protection, patients must obtain a written recommendation from a physician, register with the state, and obtain a registry identification card.
Each patient may designate one primary caregiver (who must also register with the state) to help the patient obtain medicinal marijuana from registered providers (or cultivate plants as described below), and manage the patient’s medicinal marijuana dosage and use. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 26-2B-4.)
Medical Marijuana Use by Minors
Someone younger than 18 may qualify for medical marijuana use if the minor’s parent or guardian signs a written statement stating that the parent or guardian:
- consents to the minor’s use
- agrees to serve as the minor’s primary caregiver; and
- agrees to control the dosage and frequency of the minor’s use.
Legal Possession Amounts
Each patient may possess and use up to six ounces of marijuana, and may cultivate up to four mature (and 12 immature) marijuana plants. Primary caregivers may possess—but not use—the patient’s marijuana and plants, and may assist their patients with medical marijuana use.
Penalties for Illegal Sale and Use
A person may not knowingly or intentionally possess or use medicinal marijuana, unless such use is in accordance with the regulations described above. Using medicinal marijuana without a valid prescription and ID card (or illegally selling medicinal marijuana) is punishable with the same penalties imposed for illegal marijuana use, possession, and sales; depending on the amount illegally used or possessed. To learn more about New Mexico marijuana laws and penalties for illegal use or possession, see New Mexico Marijuana Laws.
An Important Note on 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.