|Part of a series on|
Cannabis in New Mexico is legal for recreational use as of June 29, 2021. A bill to legalize recreational use – House Bill 2, the Cannabis Regulation Act – was signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on April 12, 2021. The first licensed sales are required to occur by April 1, 2022.
Medical use was legalized in 2007 through a bill signed by Governor Bill Richardson. A 1978 law also allowed for medical use, but only through a federally-approved research program. It was the first medical cannabis law enacted by any state.
The Santa Fe representative, however, had better luck with his bill to prevent sale of marihuana, cannabis indica, Indian hemp or hashish as it is variously known. This bill was passed without any opposition. Marihuana was brought into local prominence at the penitentiary board's investigation last summer when a convict testified he could get marihuana cigarettes anytime he had a dollar. The drug produces intoxication when chewed or smoked. Marihuana is the name commonly used in the Southwest and Mexico.
Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act (1978)
In 1978 New Mexico became the first state to pass legislation allowing the medical use of cannabis in some form. Known as the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act, the bill allowed the use of cannabis through a research program approved by the Food and Drug Administration, using cannabis supplied by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The bill was spurred by the efforts of cancer patient Lynn Pierson, who found relief from using cannabis and pleaded his case to state lawmakers that he should be allowed to use the drug. His efforts were rewarded in February 1978 when the bill was signed into law, following its passage in both chambers of the legislature by wide margins. However, the program still required federal approval, which would not come until August 1978, shortly after Pierson died due to his illness. The approval was then rescinded a few weeks later, but in November 1978 the final go-ahead was given, and cannabis was delivered to the state two months later. Between 1978 and 1986, approximately 250 cancer patients received either cannabis or THC through the Lynn Pierson Therapeutic Research Program (named in honor of Pierson after his death).
Governor Johnson endorses legalization (1999)
In 1999, Republican Governor Gary Johnson set off a political firestorm in the state when he endorsed the policy of drug legalization. In particular, Johnson called for the legalization of cannabis and said that the drug's dangers had been significantly exaggerated. His comments regarding legalization were soon condemned by various law enforcement officials, the lieutenant governor, and the Republican Party. Darren White, the secretary of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, resigned in protest. Drug czar Barry McCaffrey made a special trip to Albuquerque to denounce the governor's comments which he called "astonishing" and "embarrassing". Johnson did not back down, however, and continued to advocate for legalization as he finished out his second term. He became the highest-ranking elected official in the country to endorse such a position.
Medical use legalized (2007)
In April 2007, Governor Bill Richardson signed into law Senate Bill 523, the "Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act". The bill allowed the use of cannabis with a physician's recommendation for treatment of certain medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy. In later years the list of qualifying conditions was expanded, and an allowance for cultivation by patients was added as well. Senate Bill 523 passed the Senate by a vote of 32–3 and the House by a vote of 36–31, making New Mexico the 12th state to legalize medical use and the 4th to do so through an act of state legislature.
House approves legalization (2019)
In March 2019, House Bill 356 was approved by the House of Representatives by a 36–34 vote. The bill sought to legalize the recreational use of cannabis and establish a system for the distribution of cannabis through dispensaries run by the state. After passing in the House it stalled in the Senate Finance Committee, but Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that she would add the issue to the legislative agenda for the upcoming year. The passage of the bill marked the first time that either chamber of the legislature had voted to legalize recreational cannabis.
In April 2019, Senate Bill 323 was signed into law by Governor Lujan Grisham. It made first-time possession of up to 1⁄2 ounce (14 g) of cannabis a petty misdemeanor offense, punishable by a $50 fine. It also decriminalized possession of drug paraphernalia, making New Mexico the first state to do so. SB 323 passed the House by a 44–20 vote and the Senate 30–8. It went into effect on July 1, 2019.
Cannabis Legalization Working Group (2019)
In June 2019, Governor Lujan Grisham announced the formation of the Cannabis Legalization Working Group to determine the best path forward for legalization during the 2020 legislative session. Said Grisham: "This group will ensure we begin the next session with a credible, equitable, and cohesive legalization proposal that will incorporate all public safety concerns, workplace regulations, labeling requirements that protect underage children, and all manner of other issues." The working group consisted of over 20 individuals from varying backgrounds including state lawmakers, cabinet secretaries, law enforcement officials, and medical cannabis executives.
The Cannabis Legalization Working Group released a report detailing its recommendations in October 2019. "Through more than 30 hours of public meetings across the state, and with the help of more than 200 pages of public comment, the members explored every aspect of legalization, both good and bad," said the chair of the working group, Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis.
Recreational use legalized (2021)
House Bill 2, the Cannabis Regulation Act, was signed into law by Governor Lujan Grisham on April 12, 2021. It passed the House 38–32 and the Senate 22–15 during a special legislative session called by the governor, after the legislature failed to legalize cannabis during the regular 2021 session. House Bill 2, along with a separate bill dealing with expungements (Senate Bill 2), legalized cannabis with the following conditions:
- Possession of cannabis for adults 21 and over will become legal on June 29, 2021. No possession limit will apply at home while a two ounce limit will apply outside the home.
- Personal cultivation of six mature plants and six immature plants will be allowed per person, with a limit of 12 mature plants per residence.
- Retail sales of cannabis will begin by April 1, 2022. A 12% excise tax will apply in addition to regular sales taxes. The excise tax will increase 1% each year beginning in 2025, until reaching 18% in 2030.
- There will be no limit on the number of retail licenses issued by the state. Local governments will be allowed to limit the number of dispensaries or restrict where they are located, but will not be allowed to ban them entirely.
- Public consumption will remain illegal, but businesses will be allowed to offer on-site consumption if certain requirements are met.
- Any arrests or convictions for acts made legal by the bill will automatically be expunged.
County and municipal policy
Santa Fe decriminalization (2014)
In August 2014, the Santa Fe City Council voted 5–4 to enact (rather than let go to ballot) a citizen-led petition to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis. The law allows police to issue a $25 civil citation for possession of up to an ounce, and requires that minor cannabis offenses be made the lowest police priority.
Bernalillo and Santa Fe county referendums (2014)
In November 2014, voters in Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties approved ballot measures expressing support for "county, city, and statewide efforts to decriminalize possession of one ounce or less of marijuana". Initially the referendums were blocked from the ballot by Secretary of State Dianna Duran (who claimed that state law did not allow for non-binding questions), but the Supreme Court of New Mexico overruled her in September 2014. The measures passed with 60% and 73% support respectively.
Albuquerque decriminalization (2018)
In April 2018, the Albuquerque City Council voted 5–4 to allow police to issue a $25 civil citation for possessing up to an ounce of cannabis. Previous efforts to decriminalize through a city council vote (in 2015) and a ballot measure vote (in 2014) were vetoed by the prior mayor Richard Berry.
Santa Fe legalization resolution (2018)
In December 2018, the Santa Fe City Council approved a resolution calling on state lawmakers to "enact legislation related to the legalization ... of cannabis and cannabis-related products for recreational use". The resolution was introduced by Mayor Alan Webber and passed by a 6–1 vote.
Las Cruces legalization resolution (2020)
In February 2020, the Las Cruces City Council approved a resolution urging the state legislature to pass the Cannabis Regulation Act to legalize recreational cannabis in New Mexico. The resolution passed 6–1 with Mayor Ken Miyagishima casting the only opposing vote.
- Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding. The Report of the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. Commissioned by President Richard M. Nixon, March, 1972
- O’Leary-Randall, Alice (February 21, 2018). "Today Is the 40th Anniversary of America's First Medical Marijuana Law". CannabisNow. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- Grinspoon, Lester (August 16, 2005), History of Cannabis as a Medicine (PDF), retrieved April 1, 2019
- Anderson, Patrick (February 27, 1981). High In America: The True Story Behind NORML And The Politics Of Marijuana. The Viking Press. ISBN 978-0670119905.
- "The Lynn Pierson Therapeutic Research Program: A Report on Progress to Date" (PDF). New Mexico Health and Environment Department. March 1983. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- Miller, Matthew (August 20, 2000). "He Just Said No to the Drug War". The New York Times Magazine. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Massey, Barry (September 29, 1999). "Governor Supports Legalization of Heroin, Marijuana". Albuquerque Journal. Associated Press. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- "Governor of New Mexico Urges Drug Legalization". The New York Times. Associated Press. October 5, 1999. Archived from the original on April 3, 2019. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Haynes, V. Dion (October 19, 1999). "Making Legalization Of Drugs A National Issue". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on April 4, 2019. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Contreras, Russell (October 11, 2016). "Gary Johnson says he forgives ex-cabinet member in pot spat". Associated Press. Archived from the original on April 2, 2021. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Sullum, Jacob (December 1999). "General Consternation | New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson's "astonishing" position on drugs is upsetting all the right people". Reason. Archived from the original on February 24, 2021. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Zeleny, Jeff (August 8, 2001). "Governor jogs solo on drug issue". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on April 3, 2019. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Janofsky, Michael (August 22, 1999). "A Governor Who Once Dabbled in Drugs Says War on Them Is Misguided". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 4, 2019. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- "New Mexico approves medical use of marijuana". Reuters. April 2, 2007. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- State-By-State Medical Marijuana Laws (PDF), Marijuana Policy Project, December 2016
- Vigil, Alfredo (January 9, 2009). "State finalizes medical marijuana rules". Albuquerque Business First. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- "New Mexico Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Bill into Law". Drug Policy Alliance. April 1, 2007. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- "New Mexico Becomes Twelfth State To Authorize Medical Cannabis Use". NORML. April 5, 2007. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- McKay, Dan (March 8, 2019). "Marijuana legalization bill passes House". Albuquerque Journal. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- Angell, Tom (March 8, 2019). "New Mexico House Passes Marijuana Legalization Bill". Marijuana Moment. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- Boyd, Dan (March 14, 2019). "Prospects dim for NM marijuana legalization bill". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- McKay, Dan (March 16, 2019). "Recreational marijuana will be back in 2020 session". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- Herreria, Carla (April 4, 2019). "New Mexico Decriminalizes Possession Of Marijuana". HuffPost. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- Angell, Tom (March 16, 2019). "New Mexico Lawmakers Send Marijuana Decriminalization Bill To Governor". Marijuana Moment. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- Davis, Zuri (April 4, 2019). "New Mexico Makes History with Weed and Paraphernalia Decriminalization Bill". Reason. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- "Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana Passes New Mexico's State Legislature" (Press release). Drug Policy Alliance. March 16, 2019. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- Boyd, Dan (June 28, 2019). "Gov. Lujan Grisham creates cannabis legalization task force". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
- Jaeger, Kyle (June 28, 2019). "New Mexico Governor Forms Working Group To Legalize Marijuana In 2020". Marijuana Moment. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
- "About Us". Governor's Working Group on Cannabis Legalization. Archived from the original on July 16, 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
- Boyd, Dan (October 16, 2019). "Legal cannabis push gets road map". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
- Jaeger, Kyle (October 16, 2019). "New Mexico Governor's Working Group Releases Marijuana Legalization Proposal". Marijuana Moment. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
- Lee, Morgan (April 12, 2021). "New Mexico governor signs bill to legalize recreational pot". Associated Press. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
- Chacón, Daniel J. (April 12, 2021). "New Mexico legalizes recreational cannabis". Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
- Boyd, Dan; McKay, Dan (March 31, 2021). "NM set to legalize cannabis after landmark Senate vote". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
- D'Ammassa, Algernon (March 31, 2021). "New Mexico Legislature approves cannabis legalization". Las Cruces Sun-News. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
- McKay, Dan (April 10, 2021). "Cannabis in NM: How will it work?". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
- Adlin, Ben (March 31, 2021). "New Mexico Marijuana Legalization Bill Heads To Governor's Desk Following House And Senate Votes". Marijuana Moment. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
- Schwarz, Hunter (August 28, 2014). "Santa Fe passes ordinance reducing marijuana possession penalties". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- Kolb, Joseph (August 28, 2014). "Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana". Reuters. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- "Santa Fe Decriminalizes Marijuana". Santa Fe Reporter. August 27, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- Stevens-Bollen, Anson (August 16, 2016). "CannaBusted | Santa Fe passed decrim two years ago, but people are still going to jail for small amounts of marijuana". Santa Fe Reporter. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- "Bernalillo County Marijuana Decriminalization Advisory Question, Measure 1 (November 2014)". Ballotpedia. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- "Santa Fe County Marijuana Decriminalization Advisory Question (November 2014)". Ballotpedia. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- McKay, Dan (September 19, 2014). "Supreme Court puts pot questions back on ballot". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- Matlock, Staci (September 19, 2014). "State high court clears the way for pot question". Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- Hayden, Maddy (April 2, 2018). "City Council votes to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- Knight, Steve; Reisen, Matthew (April 12, 2018). "Mayor signs new pot bill into law". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- McKay, Dan (September 30, 2015). "Mayor vetoes proposal for pot decriminalization". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- Reichbach, Matthew (August 29, 2014). "Berry vetoes marijuana decriminalization legislation". New Mexico Telegram. Archived from the original on September 14, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- Burkhart, Gabrielle (September 2, 2014). "Online petition calls for Berry to resign". KRQE. Archived from the original on June 3, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- Cantú, Aaron (December 12, 2018). "Santa Fe City Council approves resolution urging cannabis legalization". Santa Fe Reporter. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- "City of Santa Fe, New Mexico - Resolution No. 2018-75". santafenm.gov. December 12, 2019. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- "Webber wants to urge Legislature to legalize recreational marijuana". Santa Fe New Mexican. October 10, 2018. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- "City Council minutes - December 12, 2018". santafenm.gov. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- McDevitt, Michael (February 3, 2020). "Las Cruces City Council supports marijuana legalization effort, with mayor voting no". Las Cruces Sun-News. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
- "A Resolution in Support of the New Mexico State Legislature Passing the Cannabis Regulation Act, Which Would Enact Legislation Related to the Legalization and/or Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Related Products for Recreational Use". City of Las Cruces. February 3, 2020. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
- Hernandez, Michael (February 4, 2020). "Las Cruces City Council Passes Measure of Support for Cannabis Legalization Bill". KRWG. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
- "Las Cruces council backs legalizing marijuana in New Mexico". Associated Press. February 3, 2020. Retrieved February 4, 2020.