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What Are the Penalties for Drug Possession Under New Mexico Marijuana Laws?
18 Jul 2018

What Are the Penalties for Drug Possession Under New Mexico Marijuana Laws?

New Mexico marijuana lawsNew Mexico marijuana laws are harsher than other states where marijuana is legal. While New Mexico does allow medical use of marijuana under specific conditions, the law expressly prohibits the use, distribution, sale, or possession of the drug for recreational purposes.

If you’ve been caught with the drug in your possession, you need an attorney who will fight to keep you out of prison as well as help minimize the charges against youTwohig Law Firm has the experience you need to fight these charges and get an outcome you can live with. Contact us today to begin preparing your defense.

Can You Legally Obtain Pot Under in New Mexico?

Patients who are diagnosed with specific severe or debilitating illnesses, generally involving extreme pain, can purchase medical marijuana under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. The state of New Mexico allows doctors to make the determination concerning which ailments qualify. Those include the following:

  • Severe and chronic pain,
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease),
  • Intractable nausea or vomiting,
  • Severe anorexia,
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
  • Cancer,
  • Huntington’s Disease,
  • Glaucoma,
  • AIDS / HIV,
  • Epilepsy,
  • And rheumatoid arthritis.

For a full list and more information about qualifying, click here.

New Mexico Marijuana Laws and Penalties for Unlawful Possession

On the one hand, the law considers marijuana a schedule one controlled substance. That means that it has a high potential for abuse and it has no medical value. On the other hand, it is widely considered to have a medical value and, in fact, legal to own for those who qualify for a prescription.

For everyone else, however, it’s a crime to possess marijuana. Penalties are larger the more marijuana you possess and they go even higher if you are within distance of a drug-free school zone.

New Mexico’s laws concerning possession of controlled substances can be found in NM Stat § 30-31-23. The following are the maximum penalties for marijuana possession:

  • One ounce or less. For a first offense, the penalty is between $50 and $100 or 15 days in jail. For a second offense, the fines go up between $100 and $1000 and/or up to one year in jail. You can face charges of both a fine and jail time for a second offense. If the marijuana is found in a school zone, the penalties go up to between $100 and $1000 and/or a year in jail — even for a first offense. For a second offense in a school zone, the fines increase to $5000 and/or 18 months in prison.
  • Between one and eight ounces. Fines are between $100 and $1000 and/or up to a year in jail. If the offense occurs in a school zone, the fine goes up to $5000 and/or 18 months in prison.
  • Over eight ounces. Fine up to $5000 and/or 18 months in prison. If the offense occurs in a school zone then you could be looking at 3 years in prison.

New Mexico Marijuana Laws Concerning Sale Drug Trafficking

Selling or trafficking pot in New Mexico is illegal. Specific laws regarding the definition and penalties for marijuana trafficking can be found in N.M. Stat. Ann. § § 30-31-22 & 30-31-20.

Those who are caught giving someone else a small amount of marijuana without compensation face the same sorts of fines that one would face if they were caught with an ounce or less. After that, the penalties get significantly stiffer. The following are the maximums:

  • Less than 100 pounds. Penalty is a $5000 fine and/or 18 months in prison for the first offense, with three years in prison the max for a second offense. If caught in a school zone the fine goes up to $10,000 and/or 3 years in prison. For a repeated offense, the max is 9 years in prison.
  • More than 100 pounds. The maximum penalties for possessing over 100 pounds of marijuana is $5000 and/or 3 years in prison. For a repeated offense, is $10,000 fine and/or 9 years in prison. If caught in a school zone, the fine is $10,000 and/or 9 years in prison. For a second offense in a school zone, you can face a $15,000 and 18 years in prison.

In addition, if you are caught selling to a minor you can face 3 years in prison and a $5000 fine for the first offense. If you are caught again you can face 9 years in prison or a $10,000 fine.

If You’ve Violated New Mexico Marijuana Laws, Contact Us Today

New Mexico marijuana laws are quite strict. The state takes unlawful possession and distribution very seriously. If you are facing drug charges, an experienced drug crimes attorney at Twohig Law Firm can help manage your case. Contact us today.


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