Updated on January 3, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
New Mexico’s medical marijuana program has been in place since 2007. So, it is possible for you to obtain a regular dose of marijuana to treat any qualifying condition. But using marijuana for recreation is still a criminal offense. As a result, you need to be aware of all the penalties involved in the unlawful possession and use of marijuana.
First-time offenders found with one ounce or less of marijuana could face a 15-day jail term and a fine ranging from $50 to $100. Subsequent offenses involving the same amount of marijuana will attract a higher fine ranging from $100 to $1,000 and a jail term of 12 months.
If the amount of marijuana found on a person is between one and eight ounces, it is punishable by a 12-month jail term and a fine of $100 to $1,000. Possession of more than eight ounces is regarded as a fourth-degree offense and is subject to an 18-month prison sentence and a fine of $5,000.
Selling 100 pounds or a smaller quantity of marijuana attracts a jail term of 18 months and a maximum fine of $5,000 for first-time offenders. Subsequent offenses are punishable as third-degree felonies. The offender may be jailed for three years and face a fine of $5,000.
The sale of over 100 pounds of marijuana is a third-degree felony, and it attracts a three-year jail term plus a $5,000 fine. A subsequent offense will be punished by nine years’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
Distributing marijuana to a minor who is under 18 years of age is a third-degree felony that attracts a fine of $5,000 and a jail term of three years. A subsequent offense is subject to a nine-year jail sentence and a fine of $10,000.
Selling or sharing marijuana within an area designated as a drug-free zone either close to a school or a school bus is punishable by a $15,000 fine and 18 years in prison. An exception to this rule may occur if the marijuana is sold within a private residence located within the drug-free zone.
Growing more than 16 plants, the maximum allowed for medical use is a second-degree felony that attracts a nine-year jail term and a $10,000 fine. Subsequent offenses are classified as first-degree felonies and are subject to a fine of $15,000 and 18 years of jail time. Growing marijuana within a school’s drug-free zone is a first-degree felony, and it attracts a jail term of 18 years plus a fine of $15,000.
New Mexico’s medical marijuana program allows you to hold and use eight ounces of marijuana over a three-month period — but you need to be registered with the state’s department of health to use the full benefits of this provision.
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